Jul 26, 2005

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Climate Change Report



26 July 2005

Subject: Climate Change Report

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Today the Minister for the Environment is going to release a report which has been done be Allen Consulting on Climate Change: Risk and Vulnerability. That report outlines the imminent danger to Australia resulting from Climate Change. Of most concern is that it outlines a scenario based upon no further emissions and given that Australia is due, according to Australian Greenhouse Office, to have a massive increase in our emissions over coming years, then it can be expected that this is a minimal position.

The Minister this morning spoke about more floods, more cyclones, threats to our agriculture, threats to our reef and yet he says that’s not a cause for alarm. It is one thing to say it’s not a cause for alarm, it’s another thing it is not a cause for action. What we need is less complacency from the Howard government and more action.

Australia needs to be a part of the international effort to combat dangerous climate change. We need to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, we need to increase our mandatory renewable energy target, and we should have a national emissions trading scheme.

What this report and other reports around the world show is that the world is headed for an environmental tsunami. Sitting back and doing nothing about dangerous climate change is simply not an option. The complacency of the Howard Government should be of concern to all Australians.

JOURNALIST: They are saying as well that some species will be lost through climate change. Is it a way of saying sorry before these incidents happen?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is interesting that the Minister chose to pre-empt the report this morning before its release, and then is releasing it on a day in which the major news story will be the Prime Minister’s visit to Iraq. I think it is outrageous that the Environment Minister is prepared to bury a story such as this.

But it is not surprising given that on the one hand this scenario, this government report, solicited and paid for by the Australian Government, shows such dangerous real effects of climate change, such as loss of our native flora and fauna, such as damage to our urban areas, such as threat to our agriculture, such as the threat of major environmental catastrophes such as floods and cyclones increasing even more. What this highlights is the danger that Climate Change presents not just to our environment, not just to our economy, but to our way of life.

For Australia to continue isolated from international action, by refusing to be a part of the Kyoto Protocol is a disgraceful position. This report should prompt a change in position by the Federal Government.

Thank you.