May 31, 2007

Transcript of doorstop: Climate Change and Emissions Trading; Water Crisis

Transcript of doorstop interview – Parliament House, Canberra

Thursday, 31 May 2007


Subject: Climate Change and Emissions Trading; Water Crisis

ALBANESE: Today the Prime Minister will receive yet another report on emissions trading. Of course we know that he received a number of reports from the emissions trading section from of the Australian Greenhouse Office four and five years ago.

We know that in 2003 the Government had a submission to its Cabinet supporting emissions trading, put forward by four departments which was rejected by the Howard Government. It was rejected because the Howard Government is dominated by climate change sceptics.

You can’t have a solution to our water crisis without a solution to climate change. When it comes to climate change, the Prime Minister is like a guy who turns up to an airport to discover that his plane has already left the day before. The Prime Minister simply is sceptical when it comes to climate change.

Last night I attended the Minerals Council dinner where the Prime Minister appeared dazed and confused. The Prime Minister gave a speech in which he rejected targets, but a minute later said that you need of necessity to have targets as part of an emissions trading scheme. Otherwise the scheme doesn’t work. This is a Prime Minister who is confused about climate change because he just doesn’t get it. He’s incapable of meeting the challenges of the new century, in particular climate change and our water crisis.

You’ve got Government members sent out to comment on climate change today, such as the member for Tangney, Dennis Jensen, whose solution to climate change is putting a shade cloth into outer space so as to stop global warming, that says it all.

This week the Prime Minister has spoken a number of times in Parliament, about foreign solutions to global warming as if it’s Australian warming, not global warming. The Prime Minister doesn’t understand that it’s just him, the Bush Administration and Kazakhstan who are isolated from global action on climate change.

REPORTER: Is he the Borat of the world on this?

ALBANESE: He certainly is someone who can’t be taken seriously when it comes to climate change. If you go back and look at what he believes and what he says, one’s got to question whether there are comedy writers writing these lines. He just can’t be taken seriously. He can’t be taken seriously because he contradicts himself within his own speeches.

You know that John Howard is a conviction politician. He’s always believed in wrecking workers rights through industrial relations changes, he put that through. He always believed in a GST and eventually that happened. He always didn’t believe in climate change, which he regards as some sort of European conspiracy.

Of course the truth is that the Kyoto Protocol is based on a US model not a European model. It’s based upon the trading system for sulphur dioxide that occurred some twenty years ago and successfully combined with legislation such as the Clean Air Act in the United States. The Prime Minister simply just doesn’t get it.