Howard lacks courage to tackle climate change
Sydney Thursday, 12 January, 2006 : In response to Prime Minister Howard's statement this morning, Greenpeace climate and energy campaign leader, Catherine Fitzpatrick said:
"Prime Minister Howard this morning failed to make the courageous decisions that are necessary to tackle climate change.
"The $100 million he has offered stands in comparison to $55 million his government has spent on advertising their industrial relations changes and $150 million on upgrading the coal infrastructure in the Hunter Valley.
"Not only that, but only a quarter of the $100 million is earmarked for actual spending on renewable energy, with some of the rest allocated to yet more meetings to delay real action.
"The Prime Minister effectively said this morning that his government doesn't believe it's worth spending the money to really tackle climate change. The Australian people, battling bushfires, drought and heatwaves, won't take kindly to that attitude.
“If it is true that the USA is only allocating $52 million, the sum total of the US and Australian commitments only barely matches the Howard Government's investment in upgrading the Hunter coal network.
"As the 'Coal Pact' meeting in Sydney now enters its final stage, we are deeply concerned that Australia and the USA will not only miss the opportunity to lead us towards the renewable energy economy that we need to tackle climate change, but won't even take the first simple and effective steps down that road.
"While China is taking leadership, moving to double its renewable energy infrastructure, Australia and the USA are trying to convince them to move backwards into the coal age. It will be interesting to see if the countries and business groups can come to an agreement today."