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New report confirms economic cost of inaction on climate change.

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Senator Christine Milne

New report confirms economic cost of inaction on climate change

Senator Milne, 4th December 2006

The Australian Greens today called on the federal government to explain how it plans to reduce the nation's economic vulnerability to climate change following a report that confirms the warnings of the Stern Review.

Greens energy and climate change spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said the government could no longer delay action after a new report from the CSIRO and ABARE confirmed that the cost of failing to address climate change would be far higher than acting now.

"The report identifies sectors of the Australian economy that will be most affected by addressing climate change, including agriculture, aluminium, iron and steel," Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"This has been obvious for the past 10 years but rather than act to begin the transition to a low carbon economy, the Howard government has spent a decade making the Australian economy more dependent on resources while undermining manufacturing.

"This has made Australia more vulnerable to climate change and more economically vulnerable as well.

"We risk our exports attracting trade sanctions as the rest of the world responds to our failure to incorporate the cost of carbon pollution. This kind of response was widely discussed in the corridors at the Nairobi climate change conference last month.

"We need to re-build our manufacturing sector as part of a transition to a low carbon economy and reduce our reliance on carbon intensive exports but the government is bereft of ideas.

"Prime Minister Howard must announce details of his carbon trading taskforce before Parliament rises for the year and he must widen the representation beyond self-interested industry players.

"There will be an economic impact on certain sectors of our economy as we address climate change but as this latest report confirms, the cost will be far greater - in economic and ecological terms - the longer we delay taking meaningful action."

Contact: Katrina Willis 02 6277 3063 or 0437 587 562