Rising Tides, Rising Waste

October 18, 2001

Rising Tides, Rising Waste
Failure to act on climate change will impact business

Friends of the Earth will highlight the Federal Environment and Industry Ministers' failure to act on climate and nuclear issues in Adelaide today. The group has stated that a failure to act will have long-term impacts on both the environment and the economy. The call comes at the start of the National Industry Policy Conference in Adelaide that will discuss the impact of greenhouse and energy policy on business.

Carbon 'Horse' Trading:
The Environment Minister Robert Hill has avoided any genuine commitment to the Kyoto Protocol arguing that reducing emissions will unfairly impact on the economy and jobs. Friends of the Earth will distribute independent briefing papers challenging this position:

Australia Institute - argues that modelling showing significant regional job losses due to emissions reduction is flawed

World Watch Institute - recently reported that the fundamental models used by business to avoid action are unfounded.

"The facts of climate change are founded in science, the failure to respond is based on bad economics" said Alan Hoban, climate campaigner.

The Nuclear 'White Elephant':
Industry Minister Nick Minchin continues to push nuclear power as a potential solution to greenhouse. Yet nuclear power, one of the most controversial industries in the last 50 years, is failing to survive the free market. Beyond the serious environment and security concerns, nuclear power is uneconomic and makes no real contribution to greenhouse emissions. Once touted as "too cheap to meter," nuclear power, as The Economist recently concluded, now looks "too costly to matter."

"Minchin has pushed the nuclear option yet the reality of radioactive waste cannot be buried," said nuclear campaigner Bruce Thompson.

Beyond Economics:
The international scientific consensus is that emissions need to be reduced by 60% to stabilise climate change. The Kyoto protocol is the first step on that path, yet government and business is faltering. Beyond economic, governments and industry have a fundamental responsibility to protect communities and the environment here and around the world.

"If the economy is not in balance with the ecosystem then neither is sustainable" concluded Mr Thompson.

Friends of the Earth will be present ­
Environment Minister Robert Hill (8:40am) and Industry Minister Nick Minchin (1:15pm) today at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

For more information or comment contact:

Bruce Thompson
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob:0417 318 368 (Conference)

Alan Hoban
Climate Campaigner
Mob: 0407 324 743 (Melbourne)