Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Australia urges US to sign on to Kyoto

The US may be the only industrialized country to refuse the binding targets of Kyoto but Canada has signed on only to do nothing much under the Liberals while emissions rose and now under the Conservatives we have a follow the US lead backwards regime. At least Australia has signed on to Kyoto and not followed the US lead as Howard did.
It seems that while the US and other developed countries want the developing countries to sign on to emission reductions they are unwilling to provide the clean technologies or cash to help them adjust to climate change requirements.

Rudd urges the United States to ratify Kyoto
The Associated PressPublished: December 5, 2007




BALI, Indonesia: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia urged the United States on Wednesday to follow his country's lead and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, as divisions emerged over what a future international climate change pact should look like.

Rudd signed documents this week to formally adopt the Kyoto accord, reversing a decade of resistance and leaving the United States as the only industrialized country to refuse its binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

"Our position vis-à-vis Kyoto is clear cut, and that is that all developed and developing countries need to be part of the global solution," the newly elected prime minister told the Southern Cross Broadcasting radio network in Australia.

"And therefore we do need to see the United States as a full ratification state."

His comments further put the United States on the defensive at the Bali Climate Change conference, where nearly 190 nations aim to launch two years of serious negotiations on a future regime to head off dangerous climate change.
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Scientists warn that a strong new deal is needed to ward off everything from severe droughts and floods, to melting ice caps and rising sea levels, to deaths linked to heat waves and disease.

The 175-nation Kyoto Protocol of 1997 requires 36 industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of "greenhouse gases" - carbon dioxide and some other industrial, agricultural and transportation byproducts - by an average 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

The United States says it wants to be part of the negotiations on a follow-up accord but refuses to endorse mandatory cuts in emissions favored by the European Union.

Although the Bali conference is in its early days, differences already are emerging mostly over what should go into the "Bali road map" which will lay out the subjects for discussions. Japan, for one, offered up a proposal that does not include targets, while the EU has come out with a detailed wish list that includes demands for industrialized countries to take the lead in cutting emissions.

Meanwhile, delegates and activists say that poor countries led by the Group of 77, which represents 132 mainly developing countries and China, have been kicking up a storm over demands that rich countries provide them with clean technologies and funds to adapt to the impacts of global warming.

Rudd's Labor Party swept to power last month, ending more than 11 years of conservative rule under former Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch ally of President George W. Bush.

Signing the Kyoto documents was Rudd's first official act. The policy switch was greeted by applause at the Bali conference when it opened.

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