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'Coal Pact' agree: let greenhouse pollution double

'Coal Pact' delegates agree to let greenhouse pollution double

Sydney Thursday, 12 January, 2006 : Greenpeace today condemned the just-concluded Asia-Pacific 'Coal Pact' as a coal trade show that, far from tackling climate change, will allow greenhouse pollution to spiral out of control.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaign leader, Catherine Fitzpatrick, said, “Thanks to the work of the Australian and US governments, the delegates to this meeting have agreed to continue the coal trade while watching greenhouse pollution double by 2050, and they have the gall to call that climate protection.”

“The Australian and United States Governments continue to fiddle around the edges of the issue tackling climate change head on. The announcements made today lead our planet down a dangerous path of inaction at a time when we can least afford it.

Ms Fitzpatrick said a report by ABARE, released in conjunction with the conference, deliberately misled the public about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the Pact.

“ABARE's claim that the Pact would lead to 20% reductions in emissions cannot be taken seriously as this is only 20% less than business-as-usual emissions growth, not absolute reductions of 20%. This means the Pact will actually lead to a doubling of greenhouse pollution by 2050, when scientists tell us we must reduce pollution by at least 60%, if we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

“In addition, these paltry cuts in pollution will only happen if the Howard Government were to introduce policies that it has already rejected, such as emissions trading and renewable energy support mechanisms. Without such action, it is more likely that pollution will be even more out of control.

“The Australian Government will be disappointed that their PR strategy to hoodwink the public into believing they were doing something on climate change has failed so miserably.

“Now that its clear Australia and the United States will not provide leadership, it can only be hoped that China and India will not let this Pact undermine the strong renewable energy initiatives they have already put in place.”

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