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Prime Minister and Treasurer just don't get it: climate change is our greatest challenge.



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PETER GARRETT MP

Member for Kingsford Smith

Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage

MEDIA STATEMENT 24 April 2007

Prime Minister and Treasurer just don’t get it - climate change is our greatest challenge

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer have got to stop treating the Australian people as mugs over the issue of climate change.

The Treasurer’s statement today that climate change “has to be engaged in a long term basis” confirms the Government has no plans to cut Australia’s soaring greenhouse pollution.

The truth is that after eleven years of inaction and denial, Australia’s greenhouse pollution will skyrocket to 27% above 1990 levels by 2020 - that’s the Government’s greenhouse target.

The Treasurer’s statement that “over that (coming) 30, 40 years, droughts will come and droughts will go” flies in the face of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which pointedly said “ongoing water security problems are very likely to increase by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia”.

The buck stops with the Prime Minister and the Treasurer. Their refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of climate change, to set targets for cutting greenhouse pollution, to establish an emissions trading scheme or to support clean energy has made the climate change challenge so much harder.

Bishop George Browning of the Anglican Church was right when he said that “concern for climate change is not an optional extra…We are privileged to live in a wonderful world. We can abuse that privilege, or we can rise to the challenge climate change presents”.

Mr Howard and Mr Costello have failed to rise to the climate change challenge. Their failure to acknowledge the magnitude of the climate change challenge will ultimately cost Australian jobs and hurt the Australian economy.

If the Government was serious about addressing Australia’s future challenges, it would ratify the Kyoto Protocol and establish a national climate change strategy which cuts emissions by 60% by 2050 and invests seriously in clean energy and energy efficiency.

For more information: contact Kate Pasterfield 0439 852 118