In a front-page ad in today’s International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December. “It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies… To those who were arrested, we thank you.”
ABOVE : French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso congratulate each other following the Copenhagen Climate Summit, where world leaders agreed to massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The new policy came about in response to public protests around the globe demanding that world leaders do the right thing for the planet.
In response to the declaration, Victorian Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said today he would be “asking the Victorian Government to make sure we’ve got adequate laws to deal with polluting activities”.
Any move is likely to win support from the major parties, with the State Opposition also calling for tighter regulations at power plants in recognition of the threat to the planet they represent.
Mr Batchelor said this was a “real threat” and that everything will be done to protect working families after the conclusion of the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Mr Batchelor described the threat of global warming as “unacceptable” and a worrying development.
“This [is] a predictable consequence of our over-reliance on polluting energy sources, one that has existed for decades, if not centuries – directly threatening men, women and children, both now and in the future, and across the globe.
“It is totally unacceptable to construct or maintain power plants that threaten people’s health and well-being, in their homes, in their factories, in the city, in the bush, in offices or elsewhere,” he said.
“We want the Victorian police to bring down the full weight of the law on the sort of people making these threats.”
Mr Batchelor said the Victorian Government must show that it respects both the law and the natural environment and identify those people that have threatened public health and that of the planet.
“Generations of Victorians are threatened by these sorts of activities,” he said.
“There has been a steady and systematic escalation of levels of environmental destruction caused by our power supplies… it is unacceptable for utility supplies to place the health of the planet at risk.
“It doesn’t matter if it is gas, electricity or water — citizens deserve to have a massively less destructive supply.
“We ask the environmental movement to very rapidly identify the people who propagate and profit from this threat and tell the police who they are.”