Recent findings that Arctic ice levels are at the lowest point in more than a century has provided further evidence that climate change is a pressing and urgent reality.

Penny Kemp, Green Party Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs spokesperson, commented "Monitoring change has helped us see the gravity of our situation, but mere observation is hardly enough. Action is demanded of us, and our policy makers.

"While Blair has put on a less-than-stellar performance of late, his shift in policy earlier this week was breathtaking. He has massively undermined the goals of the Kyoto agreement.

"President Bush seemingly fails to understand the breadth of the environmental crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the ensuing U.S. petroleum panic, Bush has encouraged Americans to drive less and take subtle measures to reduce energy use. Yet no plans have been made to effectively address the real cause of recent severe weather - namely, the burning of fossil fuels and production of greenhouse gases that have created global warming.

"Contributing to the problem and ignoring the solution is simply unacceptable," continued Penny Kemp. "Relying so heavily on fossil fuels is unnecessary, with renewable technologies waiting in the wings, pushed aside by petroleum- and nuclear-based technologies that absorb the majority of funding. There is no reason for governments to wait any longer to begin further developing and incorporating renewable energy sources. "The UK is well situated to exploit the renewable energy sources of wind and wave power. Besides reducing emissions, this would also create around 200,000 new jobs and provide long-term energy supply and economic security. The Green Party advocates increasing energy from renewable sources to 40% by 2020, aiming for the first round of emissions reductions to be at 20% by 2010."


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