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Temperatures and oil prices rising: Can Rudd make 2008 the year for change?



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� � Christine Milne

$XVWUDOLDQ�6HQDWH Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Temperatures and oil prices rising: Can Rudd make 2008 the year for change?

Hobart, Thursday, 3 January 2008 Australian Greens Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today urged the Rudd Government to make 2008 the year that Australia's greenhouse emissions and oil use both peak and begin to fall.

Senator Milne said "The fact that oil hit US$100 a barrel on the day that the Bureau of Meteorology released its latest figures showing climate change in action should be seen as a highly symbolic coincidence.

"The inexorable rise in both global average temperatures and oil prices is due to the same simple fact: our insatiable desire for growth and greater wealth is incompatible with our reliance on old, polluting, resource-hungry fossil fuels.

"OPEC Ministers are now warning that they will not be able to supply global demand for oil by 2024. Many reputable studies suggest that this timeline is overly optimistic. Even if it is not, we have very little time to wean ourselves off our oil addiction.

"The climate emergency is even more urgent, with many top scientists warning that we may already be reaching climate tipping points, such as the melting of the Arctic sea ice, that can only be avoided if we achieve rapid reductions in global emissions that leave the Bali Roadmap far behind.

"Just as peak oil must be addressed in ways which reduce, rather than increase, greenhouse emissions, climate impacts on agriculture should also be addressed in part by looking at the solutions to climate change. The Government should seriously examine the Greens' proposal for Farming Renewable Energy, which would help farmers stay on the land by diversifying into renewable energy generation as well as agriculture."

"The new Government must require ABARE to justify their consistently wrong forecasts on oil prices and crop figures, and must review Australia's transport infrastructure with an eye to a major investment in public transport? ABARE must no longer be allowed to compromise Government policy.

"Here is Kevin Rudd's key challenge as he enters the first full year of his Prime Ministership. Can he make 2008 the year Australia's emissions and oil use both peak and start to fall?"

Contact: Tim Hollo 0437 587 562