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World Bank confirms Australia world leader in climate change.

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

World Bank confirms Australia world leader in climate change

Hobart, Thursday 1 November 2007 Australian Greens Climate and Energy Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today said the World Bank's emissions data showing Australia's emissions from fossil fuel consumption increasing at world-leading rates exposed the Howard Government's complete failure to act on climate change for over a decade.

Senator Milne said "The World Bank has exposed for all the world to see exactly in what way Australia is a world leader in climate change - we are increasing our emissions at a world-leading rate, outstripping the laggards in destroying the climate in Europe, America and parts of Asia.

"Australia's emissions grew by 38% between 1994 and 2004, three times the 13% growth rate in the USA, more than double the 16% growth in Japan and not far behind India's 53% growth.

"Indeed, much though Mr Howard and Mr Turnbull like to use China as a scapegoat, our emissions growth was more than half as large as their's, at 68%, and each Australian is still responsible for 5 times the emissions of each Chinese and 19 times each Indian.

"Mr Howard, Mr Downer and Mr Turnbull, having made almost no real attempt to rein in Australia's emissions growth, are content to lecture our poorer neighbours on their record.

"Set this data next to that offensive attitude and you will understand why Australia is held in such low regard in international climate negotiations.

"Far from having a responsible negotiating platform, Australia is getting the developing world off-side, frustrating many developed countries, and holding the world back from real climate action.

"At the last climate conference in Nairobi in 2006, the rest of the world made it pretty clear what it thought about Australia's contribution by scheduling the Australian Environment Minister, Senator Campbell, to give his high-level address at the same time as the Conference dinner on the other side of the city, leaving Senator Campbell to spin his "New Kyoto" to an empty auditorium with the exception of Australian NGOs and myself.

"It is to be hoped that a new Rudd Government, if elected, may heed the Greens' call and help achieve the beginnings of a breakthrough at the Bali Conference in December through its commitment to ratifying Kyoto and rapidly increasing renewable energy use in Australia.

"In balance of power, the Greens would do everything we can to work with a Rudd Government to restore Australia's global credibility on climate change.

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562