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Labor proposes clear greenhouse gas emissions reduction target: coalition proposes to go to the election with no target, says Labor MP

Posted by gmarkets on 27 September, 2007

The government had wasted years by refusing to listen to either the evidence, the science or the community on global warming, said Labor MP Kelvin Thomson in the Federal House of Representatives on 12 September 2007. Electorate wants action: “The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Bill 2007 is all about emissions trading,” Thomson said. “The community has been crying out for years for action on global warming. Recently …I have had occasion to go through lots of old files. I came across a speech I did back in 1990 that talked about the global warming issue. The climate change treaty, the Kyoto protocol, was negotiated through 1996 and 1997. Australia signed it and then reneged and refused to ratify it. … this government has arrogantly been saying to the Australian people: ‘We don’t care what you think about climate change. We know best. We’re not going to ratify the Kyoto protocol’.”

Government not listening: For the past decade the government had failed to put a price on carbon, and they had failed to introduce emissions trading, Thomson said. He continued “… if you are not prepared to listen to the electorate then do not be too surprised when they stop listening to you. Most people lose interest in a conversation if it seems like the other person wants to do all the talking and none of the listening. On the issue of emissions trading, the government continues not to listen and to treat the Australian electorate with contempt. It now says it is going to set up an emissions trading regime, but it will not announce a target for emissions reduction. It says it will do this after the election. What a contemptible way to treat the electorate.

Ambitious Labor target: “Labor has set such a target, based on the science and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a 60 per cent reduction from 2000 levels by 2015,” said Thomson. “It is an ambitious target; there is no doubt about that. But it is the kind of target that scientists are telling us that we have to achieve if we are not to see this planet’s climate alter in unpredictable ways and ways which will almost certainly cause suffering and hardship for our children and our grandchildren, who will in turn condemn us for our selfishness and lack of foresight. But this government seriously proposes to go to the election with no greenhouse gas emissions target.”

Reference: Kelvin Thomson, Shadow Minister for Public Accountability, Member for Wills, Australian Labor Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 12 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 22/9/2007

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