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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3572..


MR GENTLEMAN: Some of them are using good greenhouse gas emission fuels. There is a greater obligation for wealthy countries to cut back on those emissions. The review outlined three main national and international policy changes in order to move to a low carbon global economy. The first is to adopt a system of carbon pricing through taxation, emissions trading or regulation so that people are confronted with the full social costs of their actions. Under the trading system, industrial polluters could buy and sell emission quotas. Carbon trading is justified in the end as economies could continue to grow strongly.

If there is no action to control emissions, the damage would amount to $85 per tonne of CO2. However, under carbon trading, emissions could be cut to $25 per tonne. The economic advantages of that are very attractive, given the prediction that markets for low carbon energy products are likely to be worth at least $500 billion per year by 2050.

The second policy challenge is in regard to technological development which produces low carbon and high efficiency products. The report suggests that energy research and development should be at least doubled and support for the development of low carbon technologies should increase up to fivefold. The third is centred on the education of individuals and governments on what contribution they can make to climate change. Further, the report highlights that detrimental effects of deforestation, which contributes more to global emissions each year than the transport sector.

Howard must ratify Kyoto and claim a seat at the table in Nairobi where the 165 countries that have ratified Kyoto are making practical reforms to the economic mechanisms which will drive reductions in emission for many years. It is widely accepted that emissions trading will help Australia's economy to meet the challenge of climate change and allow Australia to participate in a booming international clean energy market which is worth $US30 billion in 2006. Howard's lack of action in the last 10 years on climate change has meant that Australia's greenhouse emissions rose from 21.5 per cent between 1990 and 2004 and Australia still has the highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the world.

In conclusion, climate change can no longer be regarded as an unfounded doomsday exaggeration by scientists. It is a serious global threat and it demands an urgent global response. Even if we act now, climate change will still have profound implications for virtually all aspects of human wellbeing, including jobs, health, food, resources and peace within and among nations.

Environment-climate change

Australian War Memorial

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.58): Mr Gentleman's comments cannot go unnoted. I think that it has been quite interesting to see the sudden greening of the Stanhope Labor government over this last week. I have been thinking of the struggles that I had as the chairman of the planning and environment committee to get up in this place an inquiry into renewable energy. The words of the then minister for energy, the now retired Mr Quinlan, were that it was a naff motion and he would not take any proposals that came forward to the energy ministers conference because he could not


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