Greens leader Bob Brown says his party will lead the national parliamentary debate on climate change, pushing for tougher cuts in emissions and massive funding for public transport.
Addressing the Australian Greens national Council meeting in Hobart, Senator Brown said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will have failed to show mature leadership if Labor sets weak targets for emissions cuts or if it delayed implementation of an emissions trading scheme to 2012.
He said the Greens wanted a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 and a carbon neutral Australia, or at least 90 per cent reduction, by 2050.
As well, the Greens want massive funding for fast, reliable and cheap public transport in metropolitan and regional Australia.
Senator Brown called for an end to logging and burning of native forests and woodlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Greens are also calling for feed-in laws, paying a premium to those who feed solar or other renewable energy back into the electricity grid.
"We will use the balance of power to make the Senate a house of innovation to produce better outcomes for all Australians," he said.
Senator Brown welcomed new Greens senators Scott Ludlam (WA) and Sarah Hanson-Young (SA) to the team.
Both were elected last year, giving the Greens five Senate places and the balance of power in some circumstances.
To pass any measure opposed by the Opposition, Labor will need to negotiate the support of Greens and minor party senators.
Media Man Australia Profiles