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Climate change report divides Canberra -

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The Government and the Opposition have both claimed the first report from the Climate Change
Commission endorses their policies.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Climate Change Commission delivered its report today, quickly followed by
claims from both the Government and the Opposition that it endorsed their climate change policies,
despite their sharp differences on the issue.

The report warns the scientific evidence that the effects of climate change have already begun is
getting stronger.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Two leaders on very different paths. Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott agree on
the destination, lower carbon emissions, but not on the route to get there.

Julia Gillard's hoping people will join her battle for a carbon tax, like these university

Tony Abbott's trying to spark support on factory floors through his opposition to the tax.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITON LEADER: I hate to be political, but you know what politicians are like!

TOM IGGULDEN: A report from the Government's Climate Change Commission's backing up a long string
of scientific warnings on climate change.

TIM FLANNERY, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSIONER: For Australia we're seeing the impacts more clearly,
we're seeing the sea level rise that was predicted, we're seeing the decline in rainfall continue,
particularly in the south-west of Western Australia, we're seeing impacts on the Great Barrier

TOM IGGULDEN: And the report's authors are trying to remain even-handed when it comes to the
political debate.

WILL STEFFAN, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSIONER: It's important that these scientific understandings
inform policy development, no matter what side of politics it's on. Now if you look at the carbon
cycle, it's clear that offsetting emissions in the land sector will not solve the problem.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government says it's proof the Coalition's direct action climate change plan
won't work.

GREG COMBET, CLIMATE CHANGE MINISTER: And the report's findings make it clear that direct action
measures, so-called, which rely almost entirely on tree planting and soil carbon, are not a
credible way to tackle climate change.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Tony Abbott's says he welcomes the report.

TONY ABBOTT: And what we've seen from the Climate Commission is actually a tick of approval for
direct action as a rapid way of getting our emissions down.

TOM IGGULDEN: But others in the Coalition were less forgiving on a cold and rainy Canberra morning.

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS SENATOR: Today we're going to hear from a person, and good luck to him,
who's being paid $180,000 a year to tell us that a.) the world's getting warmer and b.) it's
getting drier, and the evidence is there for all of us to see, especially you with your beanie on.

DENNIS KENSEN, LIBERAL MP: There are a lot of scientists who say that the medieval warm period was
warmer than now; certainly the Minoan and Roman warm periods were warmer than now and I don't think
that we were belching out too much carbon dioxide at the time.

TOM IGGULDEN: And those statements led to the inevitable confrontation in Parliament.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: And Mr Speaker, it is not a threat understood by any of them over there, Mr
Speaker, because at their core they are all climate change deniers.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government also stepped onto offensive on the asylum seeker issue today when the
Opposition pushed for an inquiry into recent riots, suicides and overcrowding at detention centres.
If there's to be an inquiry, the Prime Minister wants it to look back at the Howard Government's

JULIA GILLARD: The breakout from Woomera, do we remember that? That looked for example at the
incarceration of an Australian, Cornelia Rau. Do we remember that? Perhaps it could even traverse
the Children Overboard affair and the deliberate misleading of the Australian people at an

TOM IGGULDEN: The Opposition's been asking the Government for details of a people-swapping deal
it's announced with Malaysia but is yet to finalise. The Government hasn't been forthcoming, but
even before the deal's been inked, it's allowing it to get off the defensive.

CHRIS BOWEN, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: I understand, Mr Speaker, that the Opposition is devastated that
the Government has reached an international agreement to break the people smugglers' business model
at the same time as increasing our humanitarian intake, Mr Speaker.

I understand their sensitivity, but they'll be disappointed, Mr Speaker, as we continue to
implement this innovative and bold arrangement.

TOM IGGULDEN: A bold arrangement for a government slowly growing bolder.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.