Greens Environment Package Visionary

October 24, 2001

National environment group, Friends of the Earth Australia, has welcomed the ?One World Environment Policy launched by the Australian Greens this morning. The policy approaches environmental sustainability on a global level, in contrast with recent environmental debate in the election period. The group notes that to achieve genuine sustainability governments must engage at an international level.

"It is significant that this is a global rather than solely domestic policy. Without a big picture analysis, individual domestic efforts on the environment will eventually be meaningless," said Cam Walker, national liaison officer for Friends of the Earth.

"The Greens policy stands in stark contrast to the Coalition?s track record in undermining international negotiations on environmental protection, notably on climate change".

FoEA strongly endorses domestic elements of the policy which:

  • Call for a carbon tax, which would reduce greenhouse and other pollution while creating jobs;
  • Call for a nuclear-free Australia;
  • Embrace national leadership on repairing damaged land and waters, and funds national investment for a sustainable future in regional Australia;
  • Controls landclearing, the principle cause of salinity, through national laws;
  • Restores Commonwealth powers to protect native forests, and removes incentives for burning native forests as 'renewable energy';

In addition, FoEA supports fundamental international elements:

  • A World Environment Organisation;
  • Increased foreign aid;
  • Recognition of environmental refugees;
  • Recognition of the ?equity principle? in climate change negotiations;
  • Binding standards for Australian companies operating overseas.

Long-term sustainability requires effective activity at the national level, combined with leadership and co-operation at the global level. Friends of the Earth commends the Green?s position on asylum seekers as both constant and principled. The current Government?s response to asylum seekers is steering Australia on the path of becoming an inward looking fortress nation.

"In a globalised world, governments must have visionary, internationalist policies. Today?s environment policy launch recognises global concerns, and places ethics into our treatment of people and the environment," concluded Mr Walker.

For further information contact:

Cam Walker
National Liaison Officer
Mob: 0419 338 047