Climate 'Partnership' a Con Job

January 10, 2006

Friends of the Earth, Australia (FoEA) rejects the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate as a thinly-veiled attempt by some of the world's worst greenhouse polluters to destroy the Kyoto Protocol.

Michelle Braunstein, FoEA climate campaigner, said: "The Asia-Pacific Partnership is led by the two Kyoto renegade states, the US and Australia, which are respectively the world's worst greenhouse polluter and the worst per capita polluter. The Partnership contains no binding commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions. Instead, we expect more subsidies for dubious and expensive technologies like 'clean coal' and perhaps also nuclear power, while true clean solutions like renewables are left to languish."

"The Howard government has refused to expand the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target and it has cut funding to renewable energy research such as the complete withdrawal of funding from the Co-operative Research Centre for Renewable Energy."

"The Asia-Pacific Partnership documents vaguely refer to 'development and poverty reduction' yet just last week the Howard government refused to endorse Labor's commitment to accepting climate refugees," Braunstein said.

FoEA nuclear campaigner Jim Green said: "The Asia-Pacific Partnership meeting will most likely be used to promote nuclear power, the slowest, most expensive and most dangerous of all climate change abatement strategies. Nuclear power is the only energy source with a direct connection to WMD. Australian uranium has led to the production of enough plutonium to build over 8,000 nuclear weapons and in November the so-called Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office acknowledged that there is a risk of diversion of Australian uranium for weapons production."

An October 2005 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that the wave of pro-nuclear propaganda to which Australians have been subjected has done little to swing public opinion. The IAEA survey of 1,020 Australians found that: 60% of Australians want no new nuclear power plants or the closure of all nuclear power plants as soon as possible; 56% of Australians consider the IAEA's 'safeguards' inspection system to be ineffective; and 53% of Australians believe there is a high risk of a nuclear-related terrorist attack. In the same month, a Morgan poll found that 70% of Australians oppose any expansion of the Australian uranium mining industry.

Contact: Michelle Braunstein 0413 008 312.
Jim Green 0417 318 368