Carbon Forum Does Not Deliver

September 14, 2004

Friends of the Earth Australia is disappointed that the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum currently running in Melbourne has delivered nothing new for the people and environment of Australia.

"The official communiqué from this forum has no mention of the deep cuts required to avoid increasing climate change and has not resolved the issues of liability and permanence" said Climate Justice Campaigner Stephanie Long.

"In addition, industry and governments appear to be more intent on superficially consulting with the few non-government organisations that are attending the forum rather than really adequately consulting the Australian community about how we feel about burying a gas which remains lethal for around 100,000 years" continued Ms. Long.

"No projects should go ahead without basic aspects of who remains legally liable for the long-term security of carbon once it is injected underground" said Ms. Long. "And it is completely inappropriate that the Australian tax-payer be responsible for the liability after the proponent has left the site."

Regardless of whether or not carbon sequestration works as an emissions reduction strategy ­ it can never be badged as a conservation strategy as there is not change to the destructive impacts of fossil fuel extraction.

"Our international federation enables Friends of the Earth to develop a real understanding of the depth of environmental and social problems associated with extractive industries" said Ms Long. "Carbon sequestration is an end-of-pipe solution to carbon emissions, which at best will be viable in 10 to 15 years. We need to action on deep cuts to greenhouse gases now, not in the next decade."

For comment:

Stephanie Long
Friends of the Earth Australia
Mob: 0414 136 461