Nov 2, 2006

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Newspoll on climate change

Transcript of Doorstop Interview, Parliament House, Canberra

2 November 2006

Subject: Newspoll on climate change, Greg Hunt, Blogs, BP emissions trading scheme

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Today’s figures from Newspoll show just how out of touch the Howard Government is when it comes to climate change. 79% of Australians want Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. 71% of Coalition voters want the Government to ratify Kyoto.

92% of Australians know that the Howard government simply isn’t doing enough when it comes to climate change. Why are they not doing it? Because the Howard Government simply can’t be believed when it comes to climate change. They don’t think it is a serious issue. The Howard Government is frozen in time while the globe warms around it.

JOURNALIST: The Parliamentary Secretary for Environment has suggested this morning that if Labor’s policy is taken up we would see petrol price double and triple or petrol bills double or triple. What do you think of that idea and can Labor guarantee household bills won’t rise?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is pretty desperate when they send out Greg Hunt. You know they are in trouble. Greg was running that line on Monday night. It changed on Tuesday. He should attend Question Time and listen to one of the 73 back flips we have seen from the Howard Government this week and keep up with the game here. That was the Howard Government’s line on Monday.

On Tuesday the Howard Government invented the term ‘New Kyoto’ sometime between 2 o’clock and quarter to four, and emission trading was no longer a tax according to the Howard Government.

It was something that was necessary to do. Maybe Greg Hunt has spent too much time in Hotel New Kyoto.

JOURNALIST: So he’s wrong?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Greg Hunt can’t be taken seriously on anything, let alone on the serious issue of avoiding dangerous climate change.

JOURNALIST: He has also had a go at Labor saying that its policy is only appealing to the café latte set …

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well he should have a look at the Poll. There are a lot of Australian’s drinking drink café latte around Australia today, because 92% of them say that his government, the government that he is a part of, however junior his position, is not doing enough on climate change.

71% of people who voted for the Coalition want Australia to ratify Kyoto. They want more investment in renewables. They want a national emissions trading scheme. They are essentially telling the Government what should happen, which is they should adopt and embrace Labor’s approach that we have consistently had.

Kim Beazley released our climate change blueprint in March of this year. It calls for ratifying Kyoto. It calls for a significant increase in the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target. It calls for investment in renewables, in clean coal technology and the government can’t hold a position for five minutes, let alone five months.

JOURNALIST: Anthony on another matter, the Labor candidate who was to take Bob Debus’s seat has described you as a shameless factional warrior and a miserable hack.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I’m sure she wasn’t being serious at the time.

JOURNALIST: Does she have a point?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I’m sure she wasn’t being serious at the time.

JOURNALIST: Do you have a response to her?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I don’t respond to anonymous comments which allegedly have been said on blogs. What I am doing and I think some of you might have noticed this week is pursuing a policy agenda on the greatest challenge facing the global community, that of climate change. That is the job that I am pursuing and that is the job I will continue to pursue.

What the Stern Report clearly indicates is the cost of inaction. What Stern says is that 20% could be shaven off global economic growth. He speaks about the combined costs of two World Wars and the great depression combined – the Great Depression but with worse weather.

JOURNALIST: You talk about the cost of inaction. Give us some example or some indication as what you see is the cost of action because surely if you are going to sign on to a carbon trading scheme and do everything you say you are going to do [inaudible].

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well I’ll give you a practical example of an emissions trading scheme and how it works. BP established an internal emissions trading scheme. You know what they found? They reached their target far earlier. They saved $650 million in the process.

The Government’s own Warwick McKibbon, who’s been appointed to the Reserve Bank board, he’s on the Government nuclear inquiry, he has come out today on the front page of the Financial Review and called for an emissions trading scheme.

Now it is about time that the Government started listening to the scientists and started listening to the economists. The only group the Howard Government has ears for is the pollsters, which explains why they have such an inconsistent, all over the place policy on climate change.