Climate change leadership election 2007 Media Release

Oct 15, 2007 - 10:40am

The Climate Institute welcomes comments by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition that climate change is a key policy priority and looks forward to seeing the further details of those policies.

“The Climate Institute will assess the parties against three criteria during the election to establish whether or not the policies will reverse rising greenhouse pollution levels within five years, make the switch to clean energy and demonstrate true international leadership.” Said Climate Institute Chief Executive, John Connor.

While Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has spoken of climate change as one of his top 5 ways in which his policies differentiate from the Government’s, the Prime Minister’s YouTube election announcement indicates a further climate policy response.  The PM promised more detailed policies beginning with “a climate change policy that balances our obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the need to keep the economy growing.”

“A reduction in greenhouse pollution and a switch to clean energy can be achieved with sustained economic growth. Government and independent groups such as ABARE and CSIRO shows that strong economic growth is set to continue even if we substantially reduce emissions,” said Mr Connor

There is also growing evidence of the nature of the impacts we will experience in Australia as a result of climate change.  The Bureau of Meteorology says the severity of the current drought has been exacerbated by climate change, and recently the Bushfire CRC and CSIRO projected that the overall intensity of fire weather seasons may increase by up to 30% with high levels of global warming.

“No political party has a plan for Australia’s future unless it has clear plans to reverse our rising greenhouse pollution, ensure all new electricity comes from clean energy and join the rest of the world to building on the Kyoto framework to reduce greenhouse pollution.

The Climate Institute will be releasing its assessment of the major parties against those three criteria at the end of this week, with updates as the campaign progresses and new policies are announced.”

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