Media Releases | 16th Feb, 2006

Australians mark Kyoto Day by tackling climate change

Thursday, 16 February 2006

One year since the Kyoto Protocol came into force, Australians are refusing to accept the Federal Government’s lack of leadership – instead choosing to tackle the mammoth problem of climate change themselves.

Ordinary Aussies have reduced greenhouse gas pollution by 12,000 tonnes – the equivalent of getting 3000 cars off our streets for an entire year – through the Power to Change campaign.

Power to Change (P2C) was launched late last year and features campaigners going door to door in Melbourne and Sydney to warn residents how climate change will affect their lifestyles. The campaign has the backing of Environment Victoria, Climate Action Network Australia, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Greenpeace and WWF.

P2C director Tricia Phelan said people were worried about climate change, but hadn’t realised that by making simple changes to their everyday lives, they could help to make a big difference.

“People have seen the world move forward with the Kyoto Protocol, while our Federal Government stands on the sidelines,” Ms Phelan said.

“Ordinary Australians want to be part of the solution and Power to Change offers them simple steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse pollution our community produces.”

Ms Phelan said P2C informed the community about climate change and could help people to switch to accredited Green Power. The campaign also advises people on other ways they can reduce their impact such as installing solar hot water, PV solar panels, cutting back on car use when possible and writing to their MP calling for government action.

“Climate change will have a direct impact on individuals, families and local communities. It will affect our lifestyle, jobs, security and health.

“Power To Change is about giving people ways to make a difference – because if we all do what we can, we really will make a difference,” said Ms Phelan.

Climate facts

Australians produce more greenhouse pollution than Americans and six times more than the Chinese.

Climate change impacts may include:
• An increase in extreme weather, which will see bayside property, including Brighton’s iconic bathing boxes, damaged by erosion, floods, wave surges and extreme winds;
• Price rises for milk, vegetables, petrol, water, insurance premiums, taxes, council rates and electricity
• Up to 60% increase in extreme heat-related deaths in Melbourne by 2050