Aug 26, 2005

States act while Bush and Howard ignore Climate Change

States act while Bush and Howard ignore Climate Change

MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 26 August 2005

There’s an eerie familiarity in reports that nine American States are uniting to cut their greenhouse pollution in the absence of national action on climate change.

In the US, the nine north-eastern States are planning to freeze greenhouse pollution from power stations by 2009, then cut pollution by 10% by 2020. They’ll do that by establishing an emissions trading scheme. California, Washington and Oregon are looking at a similar deal.

It is significant that these initiatives are being led by prominent Republicans, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger and New York Governor, George Pataki.

This action is reflected here in Australia, where Labor State Governments have agreed to establish a state based emissions trading scheme.

State Governments in Australia and the US are taking firm action to address climate change in response to inaction from Federal Governments.

Labor understands the need for national leadership. We will establish a national emissions trading scheme, we will ratify the Kyoto Protocol and we will support our clean energy industry.

The Labor Party has consistently argued that Australia must ratify the Kyoto Protocol – for a number of reasons:

  • to be responsible global players
  • to give us a seat at the table for post 2012 negotiations, and
  • because we will meet our target anyway and we should capitalise on the significant economic opportunities that global emission trading presents.

It is incoherent to argue that Australia should meet its Kyoto target, yet ratifying Kyoto will destroy our economy – you can’t have it both ways.

The Howard Government continues to mismanage Australia’s response to climate change. There is still no national climate change strategy and the Howard Government is on track to increase its greenhouse pollution by 23% by 2020.