Howard tackles global warming

The strategy came as academics and experts launched a public advertising blitz urging the government to press for reduced greenhouse gas emissions to combat the global scourge.

The Australian government drive comes as the government, which has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, scrambles to contain the political impact of the effects of the protracted drought on Australia’s farming community.

Speaking on his weekly radio address Mr Howard said “The government has established a special $500 million fund to be used in partnership with companies and state governments to invest in new technologies designed to produce cleaner fossil energy and also renewable energy.”

“Starting this week, the government will announce the first projects to be supported out of this fund” he said.

Canberra would invest at least $230 million into the project in a bid to develop ways of producing cleaner energy from renewable power sources, Mr Howard said.

Speeding up the development of these new technologies, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels, was a key element of Canberra’s climate change drive, he said.

“We must respond on a number of fronts. There is no one single solution that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the years ahead,” the Prime Minister added.

Meanwhile the chief executive of Climate Institute, which is running the ad campaign said “The Australian government’s current policy has already increased emissions by 10 per cent over the last decade and is set to increase them by a further 17 per cent by 2020.”

“An effective and credible response requires Australia’s national greenhouse gas emissions go down, not up,” he said.