clear the air

Australia’s Environmental Up-Hill Challenge

The great news is that Australia has ratified the Kyoto protocol and it will come into effect in March 2008.

The less positive news, as announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is that Australia will almost certainly fail to meet the modest greenhouse gas emissions target set for it.

Australia is likely to “overshoot” by 1% its target of keeping emissions to no more than 8% above 1990 levels.

The revelation means Australia could have to agree to make even bigger cuts to emissions in the post-Kyoto framework which is currently in the very early stages of negotiation at the UN conference on climate change in Bali.

Australia needs to accept that a big step up will be required under the post-2012 framework. 
The Kyoto targets as they stand are very low compared to the scale of the challenge ahead of us.

Australia must demonstrate how such an energy intensive country, and indeed the worst emitters per capita in the world can retain its prosperity by being smarter and more efficient in industry, in energy efficiency, cleaner fuels and renewable energy. Simon Turner


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