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More climate change confusion from Labor.



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Media contact: Malcolm Cole 02 6277 7500

MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

8 November 2007

MORE CLIMATE CHANGE CONFUSION FROM LABOR

Peter Garrett has once again exposed the Labor Party’s deceit on climate change with his admission that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol would make no difference to Australia’s role at United Nations discussions in Bali next month.

Mr Rudd, Mr Garrett and Labor have spent the last year falsely claiming Australia would not be represented in Bali unless it ratified the 10-year-old Kyoto Protocol. Now Mr Garrett has admitted that Australia’s position in Bali will not be affected by Labor’s proposed Kyoto stunt.

An article in The Age on November 7 reported Mr Garrett telling a climate change forum in Sydney that “it would take 90 days to complete the formalities associated with signing the Kyoto Protocol, so it would not be completed by next month's UN meeting on climate change in Bali should Labor win power”.

In other words, Australia’s participation in Bali will be unchanged regardless of whether we ratify the 10-year-old Koyoto Protocol or not.

This is in line with comments from Mr Garrett’s spokesman in The Australian on September 28, when he acknowledged Australia would be able to participate fully in the formulation of a post-Kyoto framework for climate change even without ratifying Kyoto.

Despite the Labor Party’s long-running misinformation campaign, the facts in relation to future climate change negotiations are clear.

Australia will be an active participant in the Bali negotiations, which are aimed at building a new international framework on climate change which includes all major emitters - including countries such as China and India which have no targets under Kyoto.

Australia was among a group of leading nations represented last month at a meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, to set the direction for the December meeting. And Australia leads the "Umbrella Group" of developed countries in international climate change negotiations. This group includes Canada, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

Under the Coalition, Australia is a significant player in international cliamte change negotiations, as the global community moves towards a new framework. We have already delivered the breakthrough Sydney Declaration, which has given added momentum to global talks. The world community is now looking to build on that momentum and move ahead with a new climate change agreement.

Labor’s credibility on this important issue is in absolute tatters. They remain obsessed with a decade-old agreement that has failed to reduce greenhouse emissions.

It simply reinforces the growing view in the Australian community that climate change is too important to be left to the Labor Party.