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ACCI parroting Howard on Kyoto.

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KELVIN THOMSON Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Sustainability, the Environment and Heritage

Tuesday, 5 October 2004


The Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Peter Hendy, has joined the Howard Government’s bandwagon of hollow Kyoto Protocol scaremongering.

Unlike the Howard Government, which has ignored Labor’s calls to back up their baseless claims, the ACCI are obliged by their own charter to substantiate their position.

As they cannot, this puts them in a pretty foolish situation.

What evidence does the ACCI have, other than a record of a phone call from the Howard Government, to claim that Kyoto ratification would impair Australia’s economic growth?

The ACCI has already functioned as a Howard Government cheerleader on industrial relations. Now it is doing the same thing over action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change.

Who are ACCI representing here? BHP and Rio Tinto are in favour of action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions via emission trading, which is a key element of the Kyoto Protocol:

"We are certainly not averse to [emissions] trading. We build in to the analysis of any new project the cost of carbon dioxide as an emissions element." (Chip Goodyear, CEO, BHP, Financial Review, 8th September)

"We envisage that emissions trading will form a vital part of Rio Tinto's overall greenhouse response." (Rio Tinto, Carbon Disclosure Project, 27th February)

If the ACCI served the majority of its members, it would be in favour of ratifying Kyoto because emission trading as Australia is ideally placed to take commercial

advantage of emission trading and Australia’s environment is a primary beneficiary of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Does the ACCI provide substantial input to public debate or simply peddle Liberal Party advertising?

For Further Information: Kel Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 02 6277 4633 Mobile: 0419 594 882 Gav Gavan O’Neill Phone: 02 6277 4632 Mobile: 0417 118146 v