Monday 10 March 2008
The recently released interim report of Professor Ross Garnaut’s Climate Change Review confronts Governments and the whole Australian community with some serious challenges, according to Peter Arndt, the Executive Officer of Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.
He said that the Church cannot ignore what the report says and that it must respond quickly and effectively along with governments and the community generally.
“Professor Garnaut tells us that the threat of dangerous climate change is much more significant than most of us realize,” Mr Arndt said.
“I think much more needs to be done to raise awareness of this in the community and amongst decision makers in all sorts of organisations in every sector of the community,” he said.
“His report also urges our Federal, State and Territory Governments to commit this year to a long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 60% by 2050,” he said.
“While the report suggests that even greater reductions than this may actually be necessary, Professor Garnaut believes that commitments must be made right now,” he said.
“We should all be making it clear to the Prime Minister that we want him to listen and act on this recommendation,” he said.
“The report also stresses the importance of our Federal, State and Territory Governments developing and implementing an effective emission strategy for the nation and we should also be telling Mr Rudd that we want urgent action on this too,” he said.
“Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol was a very important first step in Australia joining the international effort to effectively address the challenge of climate change, but Australia will have much more credibility in arguing for substantial global action if we practice what we preach,” he said.
“The same has to apply to the Church and individual Christians too,” he added.
“We have to add our voices to those of others in the community calling for urgent and substantial action, but we must try to get our own house in order if we are to be taken seriously,” he said.
“Church organisations, schools and parishes around the country are making an effort to become ecologically responsible communities and we need to continue to increase this commitment so that everyone in the Australian community understands that the Church is fair dinkum when it talks about the need to act urgently on climate change,” he said.
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.
NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.