Where to now? Life after Copenhagen

The Environmental Defender’s Office Northern Rivers is hosting a climate law roadshow to discuss the legal options for the world and Australia after Copenhagen.

Mark Byrne from the Environmental Defender’s Office said the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Summit to achieve a legally binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions raises further questions about the adequacy of the Australian government’s own climate change legislation.

Mark said the Copenhagen Accord creates a conundrum for the Rudd government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation, which is due to go before parliament for the third time in February.

“For all its faults, the Copenhagen Accord did see major polluters agree to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius,” Mark explained. “If they follow through, this would be a major achievement.

“The Australian government’s unconditional target is for a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020 relative to the 1990 level. However, to meet our commitment under the Accord, Australia would probably need to cut emissions by at least 25% by 2020.”

This is just one of the issues to be discussed at the EDO seminars, which will feature EDO policy officer Robert Ghanem, who was in Copenhagen for the summit and will also speak on the prospects now for a binding global agreement.

Mark Byrne will discuss the implications of the Copenhagen outcome for Australia’s proposed CPRS, and the alternatives put forward by the Coalition and the Greens.

EDO senior solicitor Sue Higginson will also discuss recent and current court cases involving attempts to limit carbon emissions and the successes and failures in the courts of climate change protest actions.

The roadshow will be in Ballina next Wednesday, February 10, at the Richmond Room, Regatta Ave, at 5.45pm for a 6pm start. It will also be at the Murwillumbah CWA Hall on Thursday, February 11, at 5.45 for 6pm.

Light refreshments will be provided. No bookings are necessary.

Please note that the science supporting anthropogenic climate change will NOT be discussed at these seminars.

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