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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
14 September 2004
Western Australia Premier Geoff Gallop had buckled under federal Labor pressure to endorse the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the Australian Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.
"Just on two years ago Premier Gallop said he was against Australia signing Kyoto because it would disadvantage WA and the nation," Senator Campbell said.
"Today he says he's in favor of it. He's back-flipped under pressure from Mark Latham.
"On 18 September 2002, the Premier told the Australian Financial Review: ' My position is that we should aspire to it (Kyoto), but we shouldn't sign it until all of the states and territories have been properly involved in the process so we're not disadvantaged.'
"At that time, Simon Crean was leader and was calling on the Australian Government to ratify the agreement, but Premier Gallop and Queensland Premier Beattie publicly repudiated him - and for good reason.
"Australia will not ratify Kyoto because it is a flawed agreement that would harm our economy, disadvantage industry, cost jobs and not make any significant impact on global climate change.
"Kyoto is estimated to be capable of achieving only a 1 per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions when all of the best science says the world needs a 50-60 per cent reduction.
"It is a very constructive first step because it has focused world attention on the problem of climate change, but it will not achieve what is necessary until all of the countries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases agree on a common approach.
"The Australian Government has invested $1.7 billion into environmental programs to help reduce greenhouse emissions and the effectiveness of that investment is demonstrated by the fact that Australia is one of only five countries that are likely to reach their Kyoto emissions targets.
"I welcome the initiatives announced today by Premier Gallop. I don't believe he would want to harm Western Australia's economic health, but that's what would happen if Australia ratified Kyoto."