Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell says he recognises climate change is the biggest modern-day environmental challenge.
"I think that climate change is alarming," he told ABC radio.
"I regard climate change as the number one environmental challenge.
Ahh yes, but what premium do you put on the environment?
"The government's spending hundreds of millions of dollars through the Natural Heritage Trust, for example, on trying to maintain Australia's biodiversity, fix our rivers, maintain our forest cover.
"All of these programs will become worthless if we don't as a globe address climate change.
"It is a huge and serious challenge.
What - all your pork-barreling will have been to no avail? Naaaaaah?
"These figures add to the weight of evidence that climate change is real and it's a problem that the world needs to work together to seek to solve."
Well then, lets start with the developed world .... who make up the bulk of the emitters. It's called ratifying the Kyoto Agreement.
Australia and the United States are the only developed nations to have refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which calls on countries to cut greenhouse emissions by 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012.Er ... like what exactly? Are you talking to Bill Gates?
Instead, the federal government has joined Australia up to a regional partnership designed to address global warming with better technology.
The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which includes the US, Japan, China, India and South Korea, is due to meet for the first time in Sydney later this month.This guy is a genius.
It has been roundly criticised by environmentalists as a smokescreen to cover up a lack of real action.
But Senator Campbell said technological change was essential.
"If we don't bring forward the technologies that allow us to produce energy, but do so with much much lower greenhouse gas emissions then we won't solve the problem."
The government argues Kyoto will not work because it does not commit developing nations to reducing emissions.Sorry Ian, but if you have a good look at the map you will see Kyoto covers well 'over a third of the countries of the world' and see that of the world's largest emitters, only Australia and the US are absent from the agreement. Don't forget the US is responsible for 20% of the worlds emissions alone, and we are up there in the per capita stakes. By the way, have you seen how we have been performing in our GHG emissions relative to Kyoto targets?
"Kyoto excludes most of the emissions in the world. It only covers just over a third of the countries of the world and ... we need something that includes all countries of the world," he said.
Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) climate summary shows Australia's average temperature in 2005 was 22.89, 1.09 degrees Celsius above the international standard.
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