Australia a global disappointment; Canada leads
Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Senator Christine Milne
said Canada threw down the gauntlet to nations meeting in Montreal when
the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said earlier today: 'We must
act, and we must act now.'
Whilst countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol welcomed its
implementation and spoke of the need to find innovative solutions for
the period after 2012, the best Australia could do was to recount the
policy settings which have failed to stem the growth in greenhouse
gases, she said.
"Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell is deluding himself if he
thinks that the global community gathered in Montreal was in any way
taken in by the spin that he put on Australia's response to global
warming," Senator Milne said from Montreal.
"Everyone here knows that while the rest of the world negotiated
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions Australia negotiated for itself
an eight per cent increase on 1990 levels when the Kyoto Protocol was
first negotiated in 1997.
"Everyone here also knows that Australia has refused to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol and that its greenhouse gas emissions are spiralling out of
control with a 23 per cent increase predominately from the transport and
"The minister talks about how much money he has spent but cannot point
to outcomes. It merely goes to show that propaganda machines cost money.
They do not save the global climate.
"While Minister Campbell made excuses based on Australia's energy
intensive economy, Mr Martin said: 'We are using our resource strength
as a platform for innovation: in cleaner energy, renewable energy,
sustainable energy, in efficiency and conservation.'
"In a thinly disguised swipe at the US and Australia, who argue that to
significantly reduce greenhouse gases will cause economic disruption and
cost jobs, Mr Martin said: 'Some speak of the cost of bringing about
change. But surely we realise by now that a greater cost will be exacted
if we lack the will or the tenacity to change.
"He went on to say: 'If we fail to meet the challenges of climate
change, it will not be a failure of nations. It will be a failure of
people - of me, of you, a failure of character for all who today are
confronted with the clear cost of our indulgence and who refuse to
submit to sacrifice and new ways.'
Senator Milne said: "I hope Prime Minister Howard and Minister Campbell
Contact: Katrina Willis 0437 587 562 or 03 6234 4566
Office of Senator Christine Milne
03 6234 4566 (phone)
0437 587 562
03 6234 2144 (fax)