just watch howard reconsider if kerry wins

  1. 228 Posts.

    Govt unswayed by Russia's Kyoto lead
    Russia voted last night to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but the Australian Government says it will not change its own position.

    The Federal Government says it is doing everything possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and it does not need to ratify the protocol.

    Environment Minister Ian Campbell says even with Russia ratifying, emissions will only be reduced by 1 per cent and until the protocol reduces emissions by 60 per cent, Australia will not accept it.

    "That would be accepting the argument that you sign on to something that is half-hearted and not likely to deliver a good result," he said.

    "What Australia wants to do is engage the major emitters in a comprehensive agreement.

    "I mean what you see now is the French moving to build new nuclear reactors to achieve their targets - I don't think any Australians would want to see that sort of pressure brought to bear.

    "The fact that Australians should feel proud of what they've achieved in reducing greenhouse gases is something that the rest of the world is looking at.

    Environmental group Greenpeace disagrees, saying the Government's decision is leaving Australia behind in climate change.

    "Because we're so isolated now, Australia is seen as a laggard in the set," said Greenpeace Campaign Manager Danny Kennedy.

    "It's not looked to good for leadership on greenhouse gas approaches and solutions, and more generally it leaves us outside the fold of the international community."

    The United States also said it had no plans to sign the protocol, despite the European Union earlier calling on them to follow Russia's lead.

    "We have no intention of signing or ratifying it. We have not changed our views," said deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.

    The United States helped negotiate the protocol under former president Bill Clinton's administration, but President George W Bush refused to join the accord when he took office in 2001 because of the cost to US industry.

    "We do not believe that the Kyoto Protocol is something that is realistic for the United States," Ereli said.

    Kyoto requires industrialised countries to cut or stabilise greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 as compared with their 1990 levels.

    The United States signed up to a cut of seven per cent.
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