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Greens push Australia to rise to UN climate challenge

Media Release
Christine Milne 10 Dec 2014

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has sent a clear message to Australia that is time to deliver, in a speech at the global climate change talks in Lima today.

"Ban Ki-moon's calls for transition, instead of tinkering, were squarely aimed at recalcitrant governments like Australia," said Senator Milne.

"Australia has a lot of work to do, and Ban Ki-moon has clearly outlined the road ahead. The Greens will keep the pressure on at home to make sure we follow it.

"Mr Ban was referring to Australia when he asked that developed countries who have not yet pledged to the Green Climate Fund do so while they are in Lima. We are the only major country that has not done so.

"Instead, Julie Bishop has committed to not contributing any money, which may please Prime Minister Abbott, but is being viewed as a sign of bad faith here at the negotiations.

"Foreign Minister Bishop has nowhere to hide here in Lima. The rest of the world is watching and waiting for Australia to commit funds.

"Australia will be disgraced on the international stage unless the Coalition abandons its isolationism and re-joins the global community.

"Mr Ban has reminded the 190+ countries represented here in Lima that the deadline for declaring post-2020 emissions reduction targets is coming up in March. The Abbott government must announce Australia's level of ambition. It does not wash to keep claiming they'll wait to see what the rest of the world is doing. The rest of the world is acting.

"Australia's Climate Change Authority says our target should be 40-60 per cent by 2030. That's a huge jump from our existing 5 per cent target that has been treated with contempt here in Lima. Everyone is asking how we will achieve it," said Senator Milne.

"The Abbott Government is failing to engage with the biggest economic and environmental issue of our time. It not only disgraces us on the international stage, it puts Australia's economy at serious risk as the world bypasses us with investment funds for the countries pursuing the safe, sustainable, low-carbon future."

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