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Thursday, 19 September 2002
Page: 4455

Senator BROWN (9:35 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The Kyoto Protocol will not save the world's climate. It is the first step, which demonstrates the willingness of the world's nations to acknowledge the threat of global warming and to form a global alliance in response. Australia and the United States, the highest per capita greenhouse gas polluters in the world, stand isolated in refusing to accept their responsibility to ratify the Protocol.

The Labor Party supports ratification and the state Labor government of NSW is prepared to go it alone. A growing number of businesses support ratification, including British Petroleum whose Australasian Chief Greg Bourne fears companies will be left in the lurch by the government's failure (AAP, 5 September 2002). Two hundred and fifty-four Australian economists from all of Australia's major universities have urged ratification, saying `As economists, we believe that global climate change carries with it serious environmental, economic and social risks and that preventive steps are justified (AAP, 14 August 2002). Australia's Catholic Bishops are calling for ratification—`We urge the Australian Government to join in solidarity with the other 190 nations of the world who have signed the Kyoto Protocol and to commit the Australian nation to meeting the noble ideals of the Johannesburg Earth Summit' (Media Release, 13 September 2002). The Australian people overwhelmingly want Kyoto ratified—over 70% in a recent opinion poll conducted by Greenpeace (AAP, 9 July 2002).

This bill requires the Australian government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol within 60 days of it passing the parliament. It is simple. It is necessary. It is overdue. It should be passed.

Senator BROWN —I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.