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Australia's Labor Party announces Pacific Climate Change Strategy

5 January 2006

Labor’s comprehensive Pacific Climate Change Strategy was released today by Bob Sercombe, Shadow Minister for Pacific Island Affairs and Overseas Aid, and Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage and Water.

“Our Pacific neighbours are at the frontline of climate change”, said Mr Sercombe 

“Their future is up for grabs as they face rising sea levels, more extreme weather events and a collapsing environment,” said Mr Sercombe.

“Australia must be a leader on environmental issues once again,” said Mr Albanese.

“It’s time for Australia to establish a partnership with our drowning Pacific neighbours to combat climate change,” said Mr Sercombe.

“The Howard Government may prefer the ostrich approach to climate change, of keeping its head stuck in the ground, but Pacific island countries don’t have that option.  The Pacific already has climate change refugees as islands go under water.

“Climate change is a security issue for the Pacific.  Flooding islands causes instability and shortages of fresh water and food.  We need to take a proactive, long-term approach to addressing climate change in the Pacific,” concluded Mr Sercombe.

“The Howard Government must ratify the Kyoto Protocol, establish a Pacific Climate Change Alliance and cut its own greenhouse pollution.  Australia and the region need a long-term vision to prepare for the impact of climate change,” said Mr Albanese.

Labor’s Pacific Climate Change Strategy proposes: the establishment of a Pacific Climate Change Centre; assistance for adaptation efforts; an international coalition to accept climate change refugees; training to assist those evacuated to adapt to new countries; measures to preserve cultural heritage; and a Pacific Climate Change Alliance to add greater momentum to regional and global efforts to deal with climate change.

 

 

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