Climate change is a hot topic

A REPORT into the effects of climate change on Australia's coastline has sounded another warning that the nation must reduce its carbon emissions, federal minister Greg Combet told a conference on the Gold Coast.

Mr Combet, Junior Climate Change Minister, yesterday told the Carbon Market Expo 2009 that the report of the parliamentary committee, Managing Our Coastal Zone in a Changing Climate, was further evidence of the need to take action on climate change.

“We've got to start reducing carbon emissions, in our own economy and internationally, if we're going to tackle this threat that climate change represents,” Mr Combet said.

“The report makes the point that about 80 per cent the Australian population lives in coastal zones.

“The science is telling us we're at risk of significant rises in sea levels.”

Mr Combet said that with just 40 days until world leaders met for UN climate talks in Copenhagen, now was the time to act.

“This is a critical time in the climate change agenda - nationally and internationally,” he said. “It is squarely in Australia's interest to show up at the negotiating table in Copenhagen with a plan to deliver our targets.”

To do so would enable Australia to play a constructive role in negotiations, he said.

The Government's emissions trading scheme legislation was re-introduced into the House of Representatives last Friday after being voted down in August.

The Opposition would prefer a vote on the legislation after the December 7 talks in Copenhagen.

Mr Combet stressed that Australian businesses were calling for certainty about the framework that would govern future carbon pollution reduction.

“Demand for clean technology, low carbon goods and services and adaptive know-how will continue to grow and those businesses which recognise this and respond now will be well placed into the future,” he said.

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