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Some like it hot! Liberal, National, Labor and Family First oppose 2 degree limit.

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Some like it hot!

Liberal, National, Labor and Family First oppose 2 degree limit

Canberra, Thursday May 10, 2007 The Howard Coalition, ALP and Family First all voted against an Australian Greens motion in the Senate this morning to underpin government climate change policy with the imperative to limit warming to 2 degrees.

2 degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels is the globally accepted upper limit above which climate change is projected to spin out of control, with the dangerously high risk of a range of positive feedback loops leading to much greater warming. At 2 degrees, it is projected that 97% of the Great Barrier Reef will bleach every year, and the Murray-Darling will have as much as 25% less water flows.

Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, Senator Milne said, “Fundamental to any climate change initiative must be a scientific assessment of how much climate change we can bear. Without this basic assessment, it is impossible to set well-targeted policy measures to achieve the real aim - preventing runaway climate change.

“Every time they speak about climate change, Mr Howard, Mr Turnbull, Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett must be asked how much climate change they are willing to impose on all future generations.”

Only the Greens and Democrats supported Senator Milne’s motion that the Senate:

Notes that most industrialised nations now accept the imperative of constraining global temperature increase to 2 degrees or less to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Agrees that the imperative of constraining global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels should underpin government policy responses to global warming.

Senator Milne said, “The European Union have for years been working towards a target of keeping warming to 2 degrees. Earlier this year, they concluded that, to achieve this, it would be necessary for developed nations to reduce emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, the target that the Australian Greens have called on for Australia.

“The Government, Opposition and Family First like to paint themselves as responsible guardians of the future, but their refusal to even attempt to limit warming to 2 degrees leaves them exposed.”

Contact Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562