Friday, March 16, 2007

Climate change front & Centre in Queensland politics.

In September 2006, the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, promised Queenslanders a headquarters from which to fight climate change, if they re-elected him: :::[ABC News]

Mr Beattie says a re-elected Labor government would offer $10 million over four years to water safety initiatives and would bring together a panel of experts to set up a climate change centre of excellence.

They did, and today he started delivering on this promise. :::[SMH]

A new centre which hopes to put Queensland at the forefront of climate change technology has opened.

Premier Peter Beattie, who opened the Queensland Climate Change Centre, said its scientists would tap into the latest knowledge from around the world to help plan for and adapt to the state's changing environment.

One of its first projects will be to investigate the effectiveness of cloud seeding in Queensland.

Another will be pinpointing which parts of the state would be more affected by climate change, and how they would be affected, Mr Beattie said.

Natural Resources and Water Minister Craig Wallace said Queensland's annual average temperature was projected to rise by up to two degrees Celsius by 2030, and rainfall to drop by around 13 per cent.

But other parts of the state could experience more storms and increased rainfall, he said.

"With more intense droughts and heat waves and less frequent but more intense rainfall the centre is an important step in the right direction to help plan for and adapt to our changing climate," he said.

The centre has an annual budget of $7.5 million and was an election promise.

Climate change is greening politics, like a spreading algal bloom, across the world. Recent examples are the Climate Change Bill passed in the UK giving the British the lead in constructing a framework for enforceable emissions reductions, and the Chinese Premier announcing that they Chinese will forsake 2% of projected economic growth in order to align their economies with the emerging carbon economy.

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