Page 5236 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 18 November 2009

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Title agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Environment—greenhouse gas

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.08): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the importance of addressing climate change as one of the biggest policy challenges facing the modern world;

(b) ACT greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 10% since 2000 and our emissions are increasing at a faster rate than the national average;

(2) endorses the Government decision to set an ambitious yet achievable greenhouse gas reduction of being carbon neutral by 2060 and to set a target of our emissions peaking in 2013;

(3) notes that the Government has committed to set medium term targets in the first half of next year; and

(4) rejects the view that as we are a small jurisdiction that our actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions are inconsequential.

I am very pleased to move this motion today on the most important subject of our time, climate change. In speaking to the United Nations on 22 September President Obama stated:

Our generation’s response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it—boldly, swiftly, and together—we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.

The ACT is a small player in terms of its contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and Australia is similarly small on a global scale. However, drawing again on President Obama’s words to the United Nations:

Each of us must do what we can when we can to grow our economies without endangering our planet—and we must all do it together.

As the recent interim report of the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and Water stated, and as the minister said yesterday, to say that because we are a small jurisdiction and therefore it does not matter if we do not act is a nonsense argument. We must all do our level best to make a difference now. Therefore, the ACT government considers it imperative that both the territory and the country have progressive policies and programs to tackle climate change and contribute to a global climate change solution. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking to the Lowy Institute recently, recognised that Australia and the world today stand at critical junctures in our national and global strategies to tackle climate change.

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