subject: Turnbull, Garrett debate climate change
posted: Thu, 08 Feb 2007 23:01:08 -0000


[I'm delighted the issue has made it to centre-stage. Below you have
the joy of reading Malcolm Turnbull, one of Australia's most
accomplished orators, contradicting himself. First he says carbon
trading is bad because it imposes a cost on the economy (a debatable
and disingenuous point in itself). Then later, he says that "it's
critical to have, ultimately, a price on carbon". Peter Garratt runs
rings around him. This interview represents a catalysing moment in
environmentalism - the old guard, defenders of the polluting ways of
the past, are not only outgunned, but are defecting to a pro-
environmental stance, even while they continue to protest and claim
the opposite. Spectacular. - Stu]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT

LOCATION: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1843524.htm

Broadcast: 08/02/2007
Turnbull, Garrett debate climate change

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien


KERRY OŽBRIEN: This is the third decade we've been hearing about
scientific fears of a climate change phenomenon described as a
greenhouse effect, caused largely by greenhouse gas emissions, with
carbon dioxide as the main culprit. But for governments, for big
business, in some cases for whole populations, the stakes have been
high. For a long time, an army of sceptics disputed the warnings.
Today, the doubtersŽ ranks have thinned dramatically and the first
tentative warnings are now a clarion call. Last Friday's exhaustive
report from the UN's International Panel on Climate Change, involving
hundreds of the world's top scientists, predicted potentially
alarming changes ahead in temperatures, storm patterns, sea levels.
The fact that politicians spent most of this week in Canberra
debating global warming is testimony enough that Australians are now
well and truly engaged and will probably remain so until election
day. Malcolm Turnbull, the recently appointed Minister for
Environment and Water Resources, and Peter Garrett, Labor's equally
recently promoted shadow spokesman for the environment and climate
change, have locked horns throughout the week and they're about to do
so again tonight.

And in fact, Malcolm Turnbull, you've just come from the water summit
with the Prime Minister and four of the states - Queensland, NSW,
Victoria and South Australia my understanding, listening to the Prime
Minister a short time ago, there's been progress, but not actually
much to talk about. Is that right?

MALCOLM TURNBULL, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: Oh no, I think there is a
great deal to talk about. The Prime Minister's water plan, this $10
billion, 10-point plan is determined or destined to, in a very
historic way, to change forever the way water is managed outside of
the big cities in Australia. It will make our irrigation industries
the most efficient in the world. It will mean that we use water
efficiently, make every drop count in rural Australia. And it will
also mean that for the first time a great anomaly in our Constitution
will be dealt with, which is that the Murray-Darling Basin will cease
to be managed by four States, all of whom, of course, compete with
each other and, instead, be managed, as many people have said even
before we became a nation, it will be managed by the Commonwealth in
the national interest. Now, it was a very good meeting with the
premiers. The Prime Minister, as you know, has asked them to refer
their powers over the Murray-Darling Basin, water management in the
basin. It was a good meeting. We've agreed to meet in two weeks from
tomorrow, 23rd February, and in the meantime the officials will be
working and indeed I'll be working with them on a lot of the details,
so that when we get to the 23rd we'll be able to have a substantive
agreement.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: And, very quickly, you're confident of a positive
outcome?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I am confident. It was a very good meeting. I think
everybody there was very confident and the Premiers went out of their
way to say that they believed a deal could be done and that they were
supportive. But they obviously have issues they want to deal with
and, look, we look forward to working with them, because once we're
committed to this national project of managing this enormous area of
Australia, which has 80 per cent of our irrigated agriculture and
produces nearly half of all of our agricultural production, once we
have that national commitment to run this in the nation's interest,
then I believe the officials and the experts and the politicians can
work together collaboratively. Anyway, Kerry, we'll see, we'll see.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Peter Garrett, your leader, Kevin Rudd, has been
cautiously supportive of Mr Howard's water plan. Are you confident
that this can be a bipartisan outcome?

PETER GARRETT, OPPOSITION ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN: Well, Kerry, I guess
it depends on the sort of details that Mr Turnbull's talking about
and I don't have the benefit of having had any discussion or know
what the discussions with the premiers have resulted in. My
understanding is that they're going to set up a working group. I
think there's no doubt that the public wants to see politicians
cooperate on water. And that's absolutely understandable, and that's
as it should be. But we've been asking some serious questions about
the way this is going to operate, and also I know Kevin Rudd had a
request in for some detailed briefing from the Prime Minister
beforehand, in a sense, to lend some weight to that bipartisan
support. And I guess the only other comment I'd make is, in the light
of climate change, we've been saying that if you want to have a real
solution for dealing with the problems that we have in our inland
river systems, particularly going forward, then we need to have some
decent climate change policy as well.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Okay, well, that's the cue to move on to precisely
that. Malcolm Turnbull, when did you become a convert to the broad
body of science warnings about greenhouse emissions and, before we
start looking at solutions, how do you define the problem? In your
view, how big a crisis do we all face?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, I think it's a very large challenge. I don't
like using words like 'crisis' because I don't think it's helpful
and, with respect to Peter there, I think Peter's strategy this week
has been to try to create a sense of panic, almost of hysteria, over
this issue. We do have a very serious challenge over the years ahead.
We know that our climate is going to get warmer and it will continue
to get warmer for many decades regardless of what is done by way of
mitigating the emission of greenhouse gases. So, it's going to get
warmer. In southern Australia, it will get drier - it's very likely
to get drier, and there are other consequences. Now, the biggest
manifestation of climate change in Australia is likely to be water
scarcity. So everything we have been doing for a long time now in
terms of managing our rivers and managing our water resources - and
this goes back long before this agreement.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: We'll come to the solutions later in the debate. At
the moment I want to define the problem.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: The problem is a hotter, a warmer planet and that
has changes to climate and rainfall availability, water availability,
because, you see, Kerry, it's not just a question of having less
rainfall in an area. If you can have a 10 per cent decline in
rainfall but if the climate is hotter or if it's a particularly warm
part of the country anyway you might get a 30 per cent decline in
stream flow. So small changes in rainfall or precipitation can result
in very large changes in stream flow. So you have the case of Perth,
where you have a city, a growing city, which in the last 10 or 15
years has seen its surface water stream flow decline by nearly two
thirds, even though rainfall only declined by about 20 per cent.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Okay. We're of course dealing with a global problem.
Peter Garrett, when did you become a convert to the main body of
science warning about greenhouse? How do you define the extent of the
problems? How big a crisis do you believe we face?

PETER GARRETT: Well, Kerry I've had a strong interest and campaigned
on it for a number of years and, certainly, in my time as ACF
President, we were aware that climate change and the sort of reports
we were getting from the scientists about the prospects of a warming
world were becoming increasingly validated. Look, we're not trying to
panic people. We're just trying to recognise what the actual
situation is when you have a report by the world's best scientists
collecting the data, now, over a number of years about the kind of
impact that we're having as we put greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere and the prospects for a warming world and the sorts of
impacts and effects that that most likely will have going forward. It
is a crisis. There's unanimity amongst the scientific community, for
the most part all of those people who worked on putting these reports
together, that global warming, climate change, is real and that we
can't be complacent about it in any way. What we really need to do is
recognise that if we're going to slow down and abate this prospect of
the world warming up over time - and we certainly can't stop the
warming that's begun but what we've got to do act resolutely to make
sure it doesn't continue to spiral. And the only way to do that is to
cut greenhouse gas emissions, and, you know what? The Prime
Minister's been a sceptic on climate change since day one. We have
not been a part of the international community response on Kyoto. Our
greenhouse gas emissions are due to rocket out of control. And the
Government doesn't have credibility on this issue, and I think people
know it.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: But what definable benefits do you believe that Kyoto
has delivered? What cuts in greenhouse do you believe Australia
should be targeting? And over what timeframe?

PETER GARRETT: Well, it'll deliver about a 5 per cent greenhouse gas
emissions across the board in terms of the countries involved. But
it's also a very big carbon market that's developing out there,
Kerry, and you've got the existence of clean development mechanisms
in countries where Australian businesses who could export, for
example, their solar energy or their wind power to other countries in
the world, who are part of Kyoto, don't get to take the benefit and
can't get in on the action. So Australian businesses have actually
been sacrificed on the altar of the Howard Government's very, very
strong rejections of Kyoto. The second thing is that, in order for us
to build a sustainable economy into the future, including looking
after the environment and addressing greenhouse gas emissions, we
need to have a significant investment in renewables, in energy
efficiency the kinds of things which we can employ people in, whether
young scientists coming out of our universities - it's an education
and knowledge challenge for us as well, and we need to get stuck into
it right away.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Malcolm Turnbull, the Government has consistently
refused to sign Kyoto. Do you believe that the Kyoto treaty has
delivered any benefits at all?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, I think Peter almost put his finger on it
there when he said it's resulted in a 5 per cent reduction in
emissions. Now, let's just put that in context. Most of the countries
that ratified the Kyoto Protocol in Europe that have reduced their
emissions - and remember, the benchmark was 1990 - were countries
whose emissions were reduced not because of any environmental
awareness, but because, in the case of the Eastern Bloc, the Soviet
Union and their satellites, their old sort of rust belt industries,
defence industries, collapsed. That's why they've got so many
credits, is because they're not building tanks any more. If you look
at Britain, the reason Britain's emissions dropped was because
Margaret Thatcher basically shut down BritainŽs coal industry and
moved to gas, North Sea gas, which is running out. So Britain is now
importing coal, so you actually are importing coal to England in
Newcastle in England, it's amazing. But the point I'm making, Kerry -
let me just go on - the reduction in emissions that's occurred
because of sorry, growth in emissions. The reduction in global growth
in emissions that's occurred because of Kyoto is only 1 per cent. So
it has not made a material impact. Why is that? Because the largest
emitters are not party to it. The United States and, most
importantly, the fastest growing emitters - China and India and other
countries. China will overtake the United States within a couple of
years as the world's largest emitter. You see, the best way to reduce
emissions is to have no economic growth. If your economy collapses,
then your emissions will reduce. And I'm afraid to say that Peter is
on the record as favouring low economic growth.

PETER GARRETT: Oh, Malcolm, come on.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Let me just quote this.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Better be quick, Malcolm, in the interest of fairness.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: You said in 1987, Peter, in a book you wrote about
politics, "The higher the standard of living, the greater burden on
future generations to repair the damage by those living it up in the
present." You said only a few years ago in 2004, let me finish,
"Economic growth is always accompanied by a commensurate increase in
environmental degradation." You see, your answer is to cut economic
growth, okay? Good.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Okay. I'm going to go to Peter Garrett now.

PETER GARRETT: Oh look, Kerry, there's only two developed countries
that are outside of Kyoto, and that's Australia and America, and I
think everybody watching this program who's taken an interest in this
issue will know that Australia actually got a very good deal on its
targets, the kind of targets we may just meet, but the Government
continues to bag Kyoto even though it talks about reaching the
targets. But, more importantly, what we're interested in is
sustainable economic growth and the point about the challenge and the
risk of climate change is that unless we actually now energetically
and vigorously pursue the kinds of policies that are needed to reduce
emissions and build industries as we go forward which, by the way,
Labor and I are entirely committed to, then we will continue, ten
years from this point in time, in facing an even more difficult
problem. And that's simply this. We took a benefit in the Kyoto
Protocol ratification process when we didn't sign on. But we took the
benefit in those targets, because of the land clearing that we agreed
to stop. Now, that land clearing benefit has gone. Australia's
emissions are due to go up consistently over the next 10 or 20 years.
22 per cent by 2020, they'll go up. Now, that is an indictment of the
Howard Government. But even more than that is the fact that we
actually have industries who want a signal in the marketplace. We
have industries who want to build sustainability - the solar, the
wind, the geothermal. Our gas industry is ready to go forward. All of
them still on the leash because of the Howard Government's position
on Kyoto, and the fact that itŽs sat on it hands for ten years and
done nothing about climate change. I mean, the word "climate change" -
there isn't even a climate change in the major environmental
legislation in the Federal Parliament. They're allergic to climate
change. They won't even have an environment trigger in their
legislation to deal with it.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: If we can now move on, naturally and logically, to the
actions. Malcolm Turnbull, what is the core Howard Government
response to tackle the root causes of greenhouse emissions? Not the
symptoms, but the root causes?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Sure. OK, the Howard Government has spent $2
billion over the last ten years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and meet its Kyoto target. We will meet our Kyoto target. Many
countries Canada being a classic case - who ratified the protocol
will miss that target, and by a long way. Now we will meet it and we
will meet it because of investments made by the Howard Government in
renewable energies, in the mandatory renewable energy target - MRET -
and a whole range of measures, and that is a result of Government
policy. Now, 10 years, more than 10 years ago, the Howard Government
set up the Australian Greenhouse Office, which has been publishing
data about greenhouse. It's been promoting reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions and to say, as Peter did, that we are not part of the
international work on combatting greenhouse is ridiculous. Howard
Bamsey, who is head of the Australian Greenhouse Office, is the co
chair of the new international talks on the post Kyoto approaches. So
we're not only at the table, we're at the head of the table. Now,
this proposition --

KERRY OŽBRIEN: You've got 20 seconds to finish, Malcolm Turnbull.
You're yielding - Peter Garrett?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Let Peter Garrett go on.

PETER GARRETT: The team that was set to look at national emissions
trading was disbanded. The AGO has been folded back into the
department. The rhetoric and the actions of Mr Howard and his
Government for ten years on climate change have been hostile. There's
no question whatsoever that Australia's record in this area is a
dismal one. Not only that, but we've missed the opportunity that
countries that Malcolm talks about, like Germany and Japan, actually
undertook when they started to develop alternative energy industries
like solar, where they now are amongst the world's leaders and our
solar engineers and solar businesses are going offshore. But even
more than that, they have set about trying to reduce their emissions.
We're not reducing ours and, Kerry, what the science tells us from
this climate change report is that our entire economy, as well as our
ecology, is at risk. I mean, it's tourism, it's agriculture, it's the
likely impact that the sort of higher temperatures and less rainfall
will make on drought. Those are the sort of effects that will be seen
as we go forward, and when Nicholas Stern, who was commissioned by
the UK to address this issue, said, "This is an issue of a scale of,
terms of economic cost, two world wars and a Depression", he pretty
much had it right.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Labor's core responses in Government to tackle the
root causes of greenhouse emissions, what are Labor's core responses,
briefly?

PETER GARRETT: Well, look, the first thing is, you need targets. If
you don't know where you're going, then how are you going to get
there? You need targets, and we are committed to a 50 per cent
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Our mandatory renewable energy
target is at a miserable 2 per cent. We would expand it. We believe
and support the idea of ratifying Kyoto and getting in with the other
countries that are doing that good work as well. We would establish a
national emissions trading system. The Government has been sitting on
three or four reports about a national emissions trading system. Now
we've got yet another report issued, and it's a discussion paper.
People are anxious about this issue, Kerry, and I think we really
feel that. I certainly do, I know Kevin does. They want to know that
we're prepared to respond with solutions. We've got a very, very
clear set of identified policies which we've put in place and at
least, at the very least, we know we'd be setting ourselves on the
path of building economy and sustaining environment as we go forward
by reducing emissions.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Okay. WeŽll talk about emissions trading in a moment,
but Malcolm Turnbull, can we start by looking at the issue of
cleaning up the coal that Australia burns for electricity, which for
you is one of the front line issues to address?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: It absolutely is.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Is it a front-rank response by Government doesn't it
concern you in that context that the IPCC has warned that it's too
late to undo the damage and the effects of the damage we're going to
see over the next 20 to 30 years, but that we should be taking action
right now to try to limit the damage beyond that? But finding the
right technology for clean coal is likely to take 10, 15 years and we
don't know what the outcomes are going to be. Is that enough?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Kerry, we have to make sure that as we deal with
greenhouse and as we reduce our emissions, and we are committed to
reducing our emissions and will continue to do so - there's a Kyoto
target, which we're going to meet - we have to remember that there is
an economic cost. However you do it, whether you do it through taxes,
whether you do it through subsidies which are funded by taxes,
whether you do it through carbon trading, when you put a price on
carbon, you impose a cost on the economy, and the higher that cost,
the more impact that has. Now, Peter argues, Peter says all the Kyoto
work has reduced the growth of emissions by 5 per cent by the
countries involved. I gave some reasons as to why that growth is
masked by collapses in economic activity in Europe. But just think of
this. Peter is proposing that by 2050 and the Labor Party's policy
is, in fact, 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by
2050 - and that is a very, very big reduction; now, if we do that by
ourselves it will make no difference to global warming, unless the
rest of the world plays a part. Because this is a global problem. We
can deal with water ourselves, within our own country. But global
warming has to have a global solution. It's obvious, isn't it? A
tonne of carbon put into the atmosphere in Sydney has as much impact
on the atmosphere as one put into the atmosphere in Shanghai. So
everybody's got to be in it together.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Hang on a second.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, hang on. If you impose a massive cost on the
Australian economy you will do enormous damage to jobs. And that's
why all this week interviewers have been saying to Peter, "What is it
going to cost?" Three times on another channel he was asked and he
would not say and, finally, the interviewer in frustration said,
"Does this mean that consumers will have to pay more?" Peter said, "I
don't know what `pay moreŽ means." Really, is that the sort of
recklessness we can expect?

PETER GARRETT: Kerry, I'm not going to start responding to Malcolm's
selective sort of viewing of hypotheticals that were put to me in an
interview. What I would say is this. Arnie Schwarzenegger has showed
us the way. He set clear targets - an 80 per cent reduction in
emissions by 2050. He's put California on the road to a greenhouse
gas reducing, but industry building, future. Why can't we do the
same? Is the argument here that simply because other countries are
producing greenhouse gas emissions, Australia, which actually does
produce a fair bit of greenhouse gas, shouldn't? And why is Malcolm
framing this debate always in terms of costs and scares? I mean, the
CFMEU, the coal mining union, are totally in favour of ratifying
Kyoto, are totally in favour of supporting renewable energy, are
totally in favour of the Labor position and that's not only because
of the association with Labor. They recognise that's the only way
forward. And finally, and I think most importantly, let's look as a
country at the opportunities. I mean, here we are with a wonderful
inheritance of gas, a wonderful inheritance of solar, the capacity to
build energy which can be delivered more cheaply than things like
nuclear. Not as cheap as coal, certainly, but certainly more cheaper
than nuclear, which is Mr Turnbull and Mr Howard's final solution to
this issue and, at the same time, build industries which would employ
young Australians, export that good technology to other parts of the
world. I mean, thatŽs really, itŽs, do we have a portfolio of
energies which are greenhouse gas friendly? Or do we have a couple of
energy sources, including nuclear, which are very expensive into the
long term, have other additional problems that we need to manage?

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Malcolm Turnbull, like the Prime Minister, you have
nominated nuclear power as part of the solution to the greenhouse
problems but, again, like clean coal, the technology you're looking
for for clean coal, if you embraced it tomorrow, if you embraced
nuclear power tomorrow for Australia, and you're certainly not quite
ready for that step yet, nuclear stations for Australia in sufficient
numbers to make a difference are a long way into the future and, even
if they're greenhouse friendly, it'll be years again before the
positives of that kick in. Isn't that so?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, that's right, Kerry. But the ways in which
you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and this is the International
Energy Agency's opinion, not mine, is firstly by fuel efficiency, or
energy efficiency, and that could be anything from better light bulbs
to hybrid cars to all of the measures that are being promoted and
used, deployed around our society. The second one is clean coal. Now,
clean coal is actually not all years away. You're talking about
carbon sequestration that has a way to go. But you can have power
stations that are much more thermally efficient, and the more
efficient they are, the less coal they need to burn, the less carbon
they need to emit to generate a unit of power. That is, it may not be
clean coal, but it is much cleaner coal. Now, that technology may
well be the most important thing Australia does in terms of
greenhouse, because we are working through the AP6, with the big
emitters America, China, Japan and so forth and directly with China,
to develop clean coal technologies. Why is that so important? Because
China consumes 2,200 million tonnes of coal. We consume 125 million
tonnes of coal. They are heavily coal dependent. That's not going to
change. They are increasing their generation capacity every five or
six months by an amount that's equal to ours. So unless they clean up
their act and unless we can help them get the technology to do it,
anything we do in Australia, any of the sacrifices to living
standards, to jobs, that Peter is prepared to make, will not only
hurt us, but be completely in vain.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Labor stands accused of having a closed mind on the
benefits of nuclear power, regardless of how strong the scientific
arguments may be to use it. Times change, technology changes. Even
some environmentalists, a few environmentalists, are arguing that
nuclear power is now safer than it once was, poses less risk than
climate change does without nuclear as part of the armoury. Yet your
party is about, at the same time that you oppose nuclear power,
you're about to embrace, it would seem, increased mining and exports
of uranium. You won't have nuclear power here but you'll sell uranium
around the world to feed other people's nuclear power?

PETER GARRETT: That debate has got a little way to run. I just want
to respond to something Malcolm said, though, and that's this.
There's no doubt at all that one of the fastest growing areas of
employment and economy in the world now is dealing with the carbon
economy and constraining the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that
we produce, and it is that particular part of, if you like, the
Howard Government's approach that I find so bewildering because it's
very clear that there's a huge market out there for energy
efficiency, for renewables, for solar, for wind, for geothermal, for
solar thermal where our CSIRO scientists reckon we could actually
start to get baseload happening here over the next 8, 10, 15 years if
we were prepared to invest in it and if the Government actually took
it seriously. Now, it hasn't. The point here is a simple one. What
that IPCC panel climate change report really said was, an enormous
amount of damage has already been done because of the amount of CO2s
that have gone into the atmosphere. We're about, what, 360, 370 parts
per million. If we get over 500, 550, then we get into that 2, 3, 4
degree range. They are saying to us as scientists, you, as policy
makers and politicians, need to act now in order to make sure it
doesn't go too far. I think that's what people are really feeling and
understanding. A lot of the people that went to the Al Gore film.
Prime Minister Howard wouldn't see Al Gore, Al Gore was sort of
lambasted by members of government. But a lot of people went to see
that film and it was strongly factually based and he laid out the
case very clearly. I think for Australians it's this idea they're not
prepared to set targets. They keep on bagging Kyoto even though they
use it as a reference point. They talk about nuclear down the track,
but they never want to talk about what we can do now and what we need
to do now to actually address this problem.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Malcolm Turnbull, are you embarrassed that a country
like China that you quote as one of the great emitters, the great
polluters, that China has a bigger target for using renewable energy
resources than Australia does?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I'm not embarrassed by it at all. China uses a lot
of wind power, more than we do, and the reason for that is they don't
have a national electricity grid. So they can't zap power from one
end of the country to the other like we can. If you are a Chinese
community and you're generating, might be a village or a small town,
and you're generating power from a diesel generator, which will be
the typical source in most parts of China, you're not connected to
the grid, putting a windmill there is very helpful because it enables
you to deliver localised power. Wind, particularly in China, is very
useful in localised communities and the same in India, separated from
the grid. The economics differ from place to place. You shouldn't be
prescriptive about particular types of energy source. That's why it's
critical to have, ultimately, a price on carbon. Now, ideally, that
should be a global emissions trading system. You'll get enormous
distortions always if you've got some countries that are obligated by
a trading system, and others that aren't. So a global system,
everyone agrees, is the goal. What is the Howard Government doing? It
is working now on a global emissions trading policy. That's what -
the discussion paper that Peter referred to today is the precursor or
the beginning of the inquiry into that. By May we'll have a report on
which we can make policy decisions about emissions trading in the
future.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Okay. Peter Garrett?

PETER GARRETT: Kerry, I suspect that when the Bush Administration's
period passes through, that the Americans may, in fact, have a
different position in terms of engaging with the world community on
issues like climate change and Kyoto. There's certainly strong
indication among the Democrats, particularly, in the United States,
and a number of American states that want to get into the European
trading system, that that's what will happen. And it's extraordinary
that we in Australia have missed ten years, knowing that this problem
was real and that we haven't acted upon it. And it's extraordinary
that we've seen our businesses, whether they're solar business or
wind businesses, go offshore. It's extraordinary that we actually
don't have an absolutely up in your face profound energy policy which
is driven at the national level which says, we will reduce our
greenhouse gas emissions by this amount within this amount of time.
We will invest in these following industries, because we know by
using the best of Australian brains and brain power we can actually
bring our emissions down. We can actually start to look after nature
and the planet, which doesn't really have a set of accounts other
than, as Tim Flannery said, the amount of CO2 that's in the
atmosphere, and do it in a way that actually guarantees jobs into the
future but also looks after the environment. The environment, like
the Great Barrier Reef, terribly at risk from climate change; Kakadu
National Park, again, terribly at risk. But if we act now we can
actually do something.

KERRY OŽBRIEN: Gentlemen, we're actually out of time. I know one
thing we haven't touched on in any sort of detail at all is the whole
issue of emissions trading. But it seems to me that that's something
that's still got some way to go before we get a clear picture of
where Australia is headed on that score. I hope that and other things
will be the subject of our next debate, which I look forward to. I
hope both of you do. Peter Garrett and Malcolm Turnbull, thanks, both
of you, for joining us tonight.

That's the program for tonight. A reminder that Stateline returns
tomorrow night. Join us again on Monday, and John Clarke and Bryan
Dawe will be back in their usual Thursday slot next week. For now,
good night.

---
* Origin: [green life] revolution through evolution - http://www.cyberdelix.net/green/

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