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15 December 2008 - Shame on Rudd Climate Cop Out      

Shame on Rudd Climate Cop Out

Sydney, 15 December 2008                  

The Rudd Government has set Australia on a path to climate catastrophe in setting a 5% emission reduction target says conservation group Humane Society International (HSI).

“We are very fearful for Australia’s future after the Government caved in to big polluting industries and compromised its climate targets. It will be a future with a bleached Great Barrier Reef, parched rivers in the Murray Darling Basin and bereft of 40% of our native species”, said HSI Global Affairs Advisor and recent delegate to the climate change talks in Poland, Alistair Graham.

“Prime Minister Rudd is being disingenuous with the Australian public when he pretends he has struck a balance that avoids this future for Australia and future generations”, said Mr Graham.

Neither should the Government pretend we can afford a slow start to emission reduction efforts. Scientists are warning the world has already exceeded atmospheric carbon levels needed for a safe and stable climate, now thought to have been 350ppm. Deep cuts in emissions are required and they are required now.

HSI is further incredulous that the Government has not left a 25% reduction target on the table at the international negotiations. The Bali Action Plan recognised that developed nations need to reduce emissions by 25-40%.

“If Australia is not prepared to agree to a target that as part of an international commitment might save the Great Barrier Reef, what hope have we that China and India will be prepared to do so?” asked Mr Graham

The optimism felt when the Rudd Government said it would tackle climate change has just come crashing down around us.

Today is a grim day for all of us who care about Australia’s environment and its wildlife. Shame on the Rudd Government for bringing global embarrassment to the Australian people.

HSI calls on all those in the Senate to negotiate a tougher emission reduction target with the Government.


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