Prime Minister Julia Gillard is strongly committed to putting a price on carbon, her climate change minister has said at a major climate summit.
Some of the world’s leading climate change scientists have gathered on the Gold Coast to discuss how the world can best adapt to a warming world.
Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong welcomed almost 1000 delegates to the event, stressing the importance of the science behind the debate.
Senator Wong said the government would listen carefully to what the conference had to say.
“Julia Gillard has made clear her commitment to this issue, and her views about the need for a price on carbon,” she told reporters.
“The reason we don’t have a price on carbon is Tony Abbott tore down a leader (Malcolm Turnbull) and installed himself on the basis that he doesn’t believe climate change is real, and the Australian Greens voted with Mr Abbott. “
“All of us who understand the risks climate change poses to Australia and its future have a responsibility to work and build a consensus, which Tony Abbott torpedoed.”
Senator Wong told the conference it was important to remember that science was at the heart of understanding climate change.
“Remember why this debate started, why we all started talking about climate change and why people called for action? It was because the scientists told us how important it was. “
“For too long those who deny climate change is real have muddied the debate, for too long they have hijacked this issue to pursue their own agenda.”
Senator Wong said she wanted to recognise scientists across the world and in Australia who continued to pursue their work on climate change.
“It is because of you that we understand that climate change is real and it is because of you that we understand that climate change is happening now… and that it is caused by carbon dioxide emissions.”