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Government must heed scientists, dismiss Garnaut’s defeatism.

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� � Christine Milne

$XVWUDOLDQ�6HQDWH Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Government must heed scientists, dismiss Garnaut’s defeatism Melbourne, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 The Rudd Government must listen to the science and the Australian community and refuse to buy into Professor Garnaut’s climate change defeatism, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne said today.

Senator Milne said “Professor Garnaut might have thrown in the towel, the Rudd Government may be willing to raise the white flag, but the Greens will not give up hope that the world can still come together to deliver a safe climate to our children.

“The big polluters will always try to head off government action to clean them up, but, when push comes to shove, Australian industry can and will swiftly build a new, clean, zero-emissions economy.

“Once we make the decision to move to carbon neutrality, tremendous job and manufacturing opportunities will emerge. If, instead, we fiddle around the edges, we will be left economically and environmentally floundering. The weaker the target we set now, the more difficult it will be to reach the real targets when we finally decide to go for them.

“The Australian community will not look kindly on a government that, after being elected on a platform of climate change action, bows to the short-sighted demands of polluters and sets its sights on a target that will condemn our planet to a future none of us want to live in.”

Senator Milne also called on Professor Garnaut to release the climate model used as the basis for his economic modelling, as well as the assumptions behind his emissions projections, to enable a full scientific critique of his work.

“Unless and until we see the full scientific basis of Professor Garnaut’s recommendations, we cannot effectively judge how valid those recommendations are. The Professor must release details of the climate model he has used and tell climate scientists what global carbon budget his local figure is based on.

“How can we judge if Professor Garnaut’s suggestion for Australia’s carbon budget is fair if he does not reveal his total global budget for the 21st century?

“According to the latest science, the risks of heading towards carbon concentrations in the atmosphere of 550 parts per million, as Professor Garnaut reluctantly recommends, are far too great to countenance. At 550 ppm, we are almost certain to trigger tipping points that will send our climate into out-of-control heating.

“Instead of bleakly resigning ourselves to catastrophic climate change, Australia must grab hold of the transformative opportunities of heading towards carbon neutrality. That is the positive, engaging vision for the future that Australians want from their governments and, as yet, are only hearing from the Greens.”

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562