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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Greens only political party to address climate change: Ferguson splits Labor

Greens only political party to address climate change: Ferguson splits Labor

ALP resources spokesman Martin Ferguson’s backing of the Asia-Pacific climate pact has smashed any credibility Labor might have had on climate change, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said today.

“Martin Ferguson wants to lock Australia into a dependency on fossil fuels - the major sources of greenhouse pollution - and being a quarry for the export of unprocessed minerals,” Senator Milne said in Hobart.

“Far from threatening jobs, the Greens’ climate change policy promotes long term, sustainable jobs with economic growth from a transition out of a carbon quarry to a low-carbon economy.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest that moving to a low-carbon economy will cost jobs. It is an opportunity to create jobs and high quality export manufacturing industries.

“Germany and Japan have generated tens of thousands of jobs and export income in the renewable energy sector, particularly in solar power. Renewable energy jobs range from hi-tech research and development to installation and maintenance of systems.

“Remaining locked into fossil fuels will bring more storms, droughts, fires and floods, costing a lot more than addressing climate change and moving to a low-carbon economy now.

“Mr Ferguson’s attack on the Greens and environment groups advocating a planned transition to a low-carbon future shows that Labor can’t represent the many Australians concerned about the impacts of climate change and who want serious, sensible policy responses.

“The Greens are the only political party committed to moving Australia out of its fossil fuel past and into a sustainable future. There will be no economic security if we continue to disrupt the planet’s climate systems.”

Senator Milne also criticised the resumption of negotiations to pave the way for uranium exports from Australia to China, saying nuclear power is expensive, dangerous and no solution to climate change.

China could not be trusted to use Australian uranium for peaceful purposes, she said.

She questioned the conclusions of the ABARE report released yesterday, challenging the government to explain how low emission technologies will be adopted without mandatory emission reduction targets and placing a price on carbon.

Contact: Katrina Willis 03 6234 4566 or 0437 587 562

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