Mar 09, 2008 - 2:21pm
Former Chief of Staff to the White House Office on Environmental Policy
during the Clinton-Gore Administration, Ms Cathy Zoi, today said that
the Presidential election may yet spur the United States to lead the
world on climate change policies – elevating the need for continued
action from Australia.
While early signs were positive – with public
awareness of climate change at an all-time high and candidates pledging
to implement strong policies to combat it if elected - Ms Zoi said that
the priority being given to addressing greenhouse was not yet clear.
Zoi spoke today at a breakfast seminar hosted by The Climate Institute
at the NSW Parliament House. Ms Zoi was introduced by the newly
appointed NSW Minister for Climate Change, the Hon Verity Firth. Ms Zoi
is now CEO of the Al Gore backed Alliance for Climate Protection.
world will be closely watching the outcome of the Presidential election
– and it is only right that they do,” Ms Zoi said today.
“Never before in history has so much been at stake.
are seeing early signs that the American people may begin to voice
their strong desire for change – but it may still be too early to tell.
have announced strong policies to tackle climate change, but public
mood has not yet crystallised on these matters as it did in the
Australian election last year.
"The Alliance for Climate
Protection's purpose is to elevate solving the climate crisis to a top
priority issue. In the coming weeks we will be rolling out a massive
media, grassroots and online campaign to convey the importance of
addressing global warming.
"Spurring investment in new clean
technologies and breaking the influence of the old energy lobby and
their stranglehold over policy outcomes during the Bush Administration
will still be a considerable challenge,” Ms Zoi said.
Ms Zoi said
that she is optimistic that the days of US inaction on these matters may
be coming to a close. The candidates of both major political parties –
including Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama and John McCain – had already
given endorsed strong public positions on climate change.
message for Australia is that, when the US giant wakes up, it will move
fast. Australia should be positioning its economy to take advantage of
this – there’s no hiding from the fact that the 21st century global
economy has to be a low carbon economy,” Ms Zoi said.