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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5609..


Question so resolved in the negative.

Environment—emissions trading scheme

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.16): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the importance of an emissions trading scheme in creating a market response to address climate change;

(b) the failure of both the Federal Liberal Party and the Australian Greens to support the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in the Senate; and

(c) the efforts of the Federal and ACT Labor parties to drive real and meaningful reform to establish a more sustainable community; and

(2) resolves that all Members reiterate the importance of an emissions trading scheme with their Federal counterparts as a matter of urgency to address the impacts of climate change on the community.

I move this motion today as I am very concerned that, as the important global climate change negotiations begin in Copenhagen, Australia does not have a national emissions trading scheme. We need action on climate change at all levels, local, national and global.

Australia and the globe are experiencing rapid climate change. It is now two years since the International Panel on Climate Change released its report on global warming, observing in its report that 11 of the 12 years to 2006 rank among the 12 warmest since 1850, when recording started; the average temperature of the ocean has increased, with the ocean absorbing some 80 per cent of the heat from the climate system; and sea levels experienced an increased rate of rise from 1961 to 2003, mostly from thermal expansion and melting glaciers and icecaps. I saw evidence of damage caused by rising sea levels when I was in Tasmania recently attending the public works and environment parliamentary committee conference.

The extent of the Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 2.7 per cent per decade, with larger decreases in summer, of 7.4 per cent. Mountain glaciers and snow covers on average have declined by seven per cent in the Northern Hemisphere since 1900, with decreases in the spring of up to 15 per cent. Permafrost temperatures in the Arctic have increased by up to three degrees Centigrade since the 1980s.

Since the middle of the 20th century, Australian temperatures have on average risen by about one degree Centigrade, with an increase in the frequency of heatwaves and a decrease in the number of frosts and cold days. Rainfall patterns have also changed. The north-west has seen an increase in rainfall over the last 50 years, while much of eastern Australia and the far south-west have experienced a decline.


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