World Environment Day – time to act locally and globally
MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 4 June 2005
World Environment Day on Sunday 5 June is an opportunity to focus on important local and global environmental issues affecting our country.
The classic environmental catchphrase has been “think globally, act locally”.
The threat of climate change as the most important challenge facing the global community reminds us of the need to also act globally.
The recent study by the Lowy Institute for International Policy found people were more concerned by global warming than international terrorism.
According to the survey, 71% of Australians are worried about global warming. Further, 94% of Australians believe that “improving the global environment should be a key goal of Australian foreign policy.”
The Howard Government is not awake to the real causes of climate change and is not addressing this threat properly, domestically or internationally. Given Australia is the driest continent on Earth, the Government needs to be an international leader, not be complacent when it comes to the environment.
Every industrialised country, except Australia and the US has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. And the Howard Government will not support greenhouse emissions trading, a decent renewable energy target, or real cuts in greenhouse pollution.
The extended four-year drought gripping Australia is the most dramatic example of climate change to hit our nation. Drought requires a long-term strategy to ensure it is not a permanent feature of our landscape.
The recent abolition of the Australian Greenhouse Office symbolises the government’s lack of concern about climate change.
The global nature of environmental issues has been reinforced in the lead up to the International Whaling Commission meeting later this month. Australia must push for an end to whaling once and for all.
When it comes to the big environment issues, global engagement is critical.