Page 208 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 2008

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year, you will find yourselves sitting in the same chairs you occupy now—well, perhaps not Mr Mulcahy—but with some regret.

The people of Australia have now spoken. The people of Australia wanted the Kyoto protocol ratified, and that is what a federal Labor government has done. The people of Australia want a government, be it local, state or federal, to take some initiative and make the tough decisions. The people of Australia want solutions, not just a policy that shouts no action. It just does not work that way, and the people of Australia, and Mr Mulcahy, should know it.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (5.40): Climate change was very much on the minds of the ACT government when Mr Gentleman first raised this motion in November 2006. A lot has happened since debate was adjourned the year before last, and I note that there are a number of amendments to the original motion to reflect the evolving nature of the issue.

The ACT government accepts the overwhelming scientific evidence that the use of our planet and its resources has already changed and will continue to change our climate. This government acknowledges that fact and accepts that unless action is taken now climate change will have significant effects on our economy, on our capital lifestyle and on the health and wellbeing of Canberrans.

The most recent emissions and climate forecasts of the CSIRO in October 2007 and the addendum to report No 4 of the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change released in November 2007 reinforced the ACT government’s view that early action is more vital than ever. The role of the IPCC is to comprehensively assess the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Some 800 researchers and scientists from 130 countries contributed to the IPCC fourth assessment report. This most recent synthesis report is based on the assessment carried out by by three working groups of the IPCC. It provides for an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the fourth assessment report.

The IPCC has acknowledged that the rate of global climate change is proceeding at a rate greater than previously modelled, and that the time has come for immediate and critical action, stating in the synthesis report that:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.

The observations which are made demonstrate that these changes have been occurring for the last 50 years and are now a global priority. At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Bali in December, approximately 190 countries were represented and focused on progressing the Kyoto protocol. The Rudd Labor government was finally a formal part of these discussions and made the

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