Mar 31, 2005

States to the rescue yet again – Climate Change


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 31 March 2005

State Governments have again come to the rescue as the Howard Government continues to sleep through the unfolding crisis of climate change.

State Governments have agreed to set up a national greenhouse emissions trading scheme (The Australian, 31 March 2005, p6), which will deliver real cuts to Australia’s spiralling greenhouse pollution.

According to a recent poll by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, 71% of Australians are worried about climate change, and 94% of Australians believe that “improving the global environment” should be a key goal of Australian foreign policy.

Australians believe that climate change is an even greater threat to Australia than terrorism.

Australians are concerned, Sate Governments are concerned, Federal Labor is concerned but the Howard Government is curled up asleep under the doona.

The Howard Government has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, it has refused to support Australia’s clean energy industry and it has refused to implement greenhouse emissions trading.

Worst of all, the Howard Government is happily dozing on the sidelines as our greenhouse pollution spirals out of control. According to the Australian Greenhouse Office, Australia’s emissions will increase by 23% (of 1990 levels) by 2020.

The only reason the Howard Government is able to say that it’s on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target (a generous 8% increase in 1990 levels by 2012) is because State Governments in Queensland and NSW have taken the tough decisions to stop large scale land clearing.

Without the States, we would be in desperate straits.

Only Labor will take action. We’ll ratify the Kyoto Protocol, introduce an emissions trading scheme and encourage the development of a strong clean energy industry through a strong mandatory renewable energy target.