A global economy that supports healthier environment will be the wave of the future, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Friday, which in turn would eradicate poverty and generate more employment opportunities at the same time.
In a speech she delivered today in the environmental summit hosted by the United Nations at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ms Gillard said that despite the realities being faced by governments around the world, concerted efforts to establish a 'sustainable development goals' or SDGs must be pushed forward.
Such platform, the Prime Minister stressed, is the new key that would allow nations to eventually create green economies, the foremost characteristics of which are green jobs and clean energy sources.
In the centre-stage of global efforts to promote a sound environment that is parallel to sustainable economic growth, which has met stiff opposition from major global economies, Ms Gillard took the cudgels for much of the world to adopt the new SDGs that was earlier endorsed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
It would not be an easy task, she admitted, but Ms Gillard asserted that "we are not here this week just to talk to each other. We're here to decide, to agree ... and then to act."
"Everyone here knows that collective action is hard ... and that global collective action can be even harder ... but everyone here also knows that targets work ... and set the firmest possible basis for long-term success," the Australian Associated Press (AAP) quoted the Prime Minister as saying in calling on the Rio delegates for a unified stand behind the SDGs.
SDGs were set to take the place of the millennium development goals (MDGs) that nations have agreed to in 2000 to combat global poverty and is set to expire by 2015.
Australia, she added, has laid out the solid frameworks supporting the UN's environmental agenda, with the country's fixed carbon pricing set to take effect on July and the planned marine protection parks that will be finalised later this year.
At least in the Asia-Pacific region, Canberra aims to spearhead efforts that would preserve the vast area's marine ecosystem, which in turn should perpetuate the region's fish reservoir that would benefit millions.
Ms Gillard said she has committed $33 million as seed-money for the program to start rolling.
She insisted too that her adamant attitude in pushing for her country's emission trading scheme was not a maverick act at all, as suggested by the Coalition, but rather a move that is in unison with measures observed by the rest of the world, specifically in the European Union.
Australia, Ms Gillard added, is leading the way and as she told The Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm for doing it the cheapest possible way and I'm for starting now so the adjustments can be more gradual."
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