Emulate China & achieve emission targets (DEC)

15 December 2008

Media Releases 2008

“Penny Wong, in her last speech to the Poznan Conference identified Australia’s population growth as a serious impediment to achieving the Rudd Government’s own 2050 emission reduction target. Yet every state government, with the full support of Federal Government policy, is chasing population growth and growth in per capita consumption, very substantially increasing, rather than decreasing environmental impact of which GHG emissions are only one symptom.

“The recently released State of Environment Report for Victoria says that humanity would need four Earths if all were to live like Victorians. What’s true for Victoria is true for Australia as a whole.

“If the Rudd and successive governments continue with the present course of rapid population growth (another million Australians every three years) combined with naked economic growth then it will be between two and four times harder to achieve its 60% 2050 emission reduction target.

“Garnaut showed that the very weak 5% 2020 reduction adopted by Rudd and Wong would require a 15% per capita reduction because of our rapid rate of population increase.

“Jonathan Porritt, advisor to the UK Government on sustainability has recently pointed out, ‘…..every single one of the environmental problems we face today is exacerbated by population growth, and the already massive challenge of achieving an 80% cut in greenhouse gases by 2050 is rendered completely fantastical by the prospective arrival of another 2.5 billion people over the next 40 years.

“It’s past the time when the Rudd and other Australian governments can get away with making unfounded assertions about achieving ever more growth and also an environmentally sustainable future. They and we all must choose and the best first step is to adopt a non-coercive reduction in fertility and a large reduction in immigration”, concluded Dr Coulter.

For further information or comment:

Dr John R. Coulter, National President, Sustainable Population Australia08/8388 2153 or email jrpfc@bigpond.com


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