David Suzuki slams Australia over attitude to global warming
MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) Mar 03, 2004
World renowned ecologist David Suzuki lashed out here Wednesday at Australia's failure to reduce global warming, or to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas.

The Canadian environmentalist, who is here for the launch of Toyota's 2004 environment and community report at the car manufacturer's new "green" corporate headquarters, said Australia is especially vulnerable to global warming and should do more to counter it.

"Here you have a country (where) your federal government is saying 'we in Australia, we can't do anything about global warming... we can't do anything'," he said.

"Australia is especially vulnerable. Your whole country is bordered by the ocean, sea levels are rising, half your country is desert, that desertification is going to continue.

"You've got all this sunshine coming down and look, anywhere you look, where is there a solar panel anywhere?

"And your government has the nerve to say we can't do anything about Kyoto."

The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialised signatory countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the carbon-based pollution which results from burning fossil fuels and is blamed for driving global warming.

Suzuki defended his association with Toyota, which produces an energy efficient petrol/electric hybrid car called the Prius.

He cited a need to praise the private sector in order to encourage it to do more to protect the environment.

"I made the decision a number of years ago that if you don't at least acknowledge that (the private sector has) done something right and give them credit for it, then why the hell should they ever listen to an environmentalist?"