THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE
ABBOTT GOVERNMENT CUTS FUNDING TO UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME
TUESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2014
Labor condemns reports the Abbott Government has cut funding for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) by 80 per cent.
The 80 per cent cut to the UNEP represents a funding reduction of about $4 million.
The UNEP supports developing countries to implement policies and measures to enhance their environmental sustainability.
The UNEP also coordinates the United Nations’ environment policies, including global efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change, promote sustainable agriculture and development and disaster risk mitigation.
“It’s bad enough that Tony Abbott is taking Australia backwards on climate change. But now he wants to stop developing nations from taking action on climate change – as they try to grow their economies and reduce poverty. It’s embarrassing,” Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanya Plibersek said.
“Tony Abbott tried to keep climate change off the G20 agenda, but he failed.
“That’s because other world leaders know climate change is both an environmental and economic issue.
“The cuts revealed today just reinforce that when it comes to climate change Tony Abbott is out on his own.”
These reports follow the Abbott Government’s refusal to provide funding to the Global Green Fund which provides financial assistance to smaller nations to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
“Because Tony Abbott is blind to the impacts of climate change on Australia’s economic, social and environmental landscapes, our international friends and neighbours are paying the price,” Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Mark Butler said.
“Australia is a rich nation that has a responsibility to assist those in need. Floods, rising sea levels, droughts and storms all pose a huge threat to the Pacific Island nations in our region, and to other developing countries.
“Tony Abbott has made Australia an international laughing stock with his backward policies on climate change and the environment.”