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ENVIRONMENT—MONTREAL PROTOCOL ON SUBSTANCES THAT DEPLETE THE OZONE LAYER

Senator Milne, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 467—That the Senate—

 (a) acknowledges proposals submitted by the Federated States of Micronesia and Mauritius to amend the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to regulate and phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a high global warming potential and promote the destruction of banks of ozone-depleting substances at the Montreal Protocol Open Ended Working Group meeting to be held in Geneva from 13 July to 18 July 2009;

 (b) notes that these proposals will strengthen the protocol to provide fast-action climate change mitigation several times greater than the emission reductions sought during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);

 (c) recognises the importance of these and other fast-action mitigation strategies to reduce the threat of crossing tipping points for abrupt, irreversible and catastrophic climate changes - tipping points many leading scientists now warn may be only a few years away; and

 (d) calls on the Government to support the proposals from the Federated States of Micronesia and Mauritius, to recognise the need to work towards an HFC phase-out coordinated between the UNFCCC and the protocol, and to seek amendments that will enable the UNFCCC and the protocol to both play important collaborative roles in the phase-out of HFCs.

Question put and passed.

Statements by leave: Senator O'Brien and the Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding), by leave, made statements relating to the motion.