Thousands protest climate change inaction

Thousands of Australians have protested against inaction on climate change, converging on major cities to voice their discontent ahead of this week's national polls.  

Thousands of Australians have protested against inaction on climate change, converging on major cities to voice their discontent ahead of this week's national polls.

Thousands gathered in Sydney's business district for the annual "Walk Against Warming" rally and similar events were held in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin and Hobart on Sunday.

"We feel that climate change is going to be a key issue for people going to the polls next Saturday," Pepe Clarke of the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales told Australian news wire AAP.

"We've had enough of the delays, enough of the false promises. What we want to see is real action to curb carbon pollution in Australia in the next term of government."

Australia is the world's highest per capita producer of carbon emissions.

Climate change was a major issue in Australia's last election in 2007, but has failed to attract as much attention ahead of the August 21 polls.

Australia signed the UN's Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas pollution shortly after prime minister Kevin Rudd was elected in November 2007.

But Rudd failed to get his carbon emissions trading scheme through a hostile parliament and the Labor government, now headed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has since put the legislation on the backburner until at least 2012.

Gillard's opponent in this week's polls, right-leaning Tony Abbott, has said he does not support an emissions trading scheme - a mechanism which would place an economy-wide price on the greenhouse gas pollution blamed for climate change.

Not all those gathered for the marches supported action on climate change - with a group of sceptics attempting to disrupt the rally in Adelaide.

Source AFP

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