Jan 12, 2006

Climate Change Requires Global Solution

Climate Change Requires Global Solution


12 January 2006

The Asia Pacific Climate Pact meeting has reinforced that climate change can only be fully addressed through the Kyoto Protocol.

Extraordinary comments from Government representatives before the Climate Pact meeting suggested they’d spent too much time in the hot Australian sun.

The Environment Minister, Senator Campbell, said the target of the meeting was to “save the planet from climate change”.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said the Climate Pact meeting was “the most important environmental meeting of the decade“.

In the end, the Climate Pact agreed to further partnerships between governments and industry to reduce emissions, and the establishment of new taskforces. Any taskforce must be transparent and demonstrate a capacity to deliver on real improvements in energy efficiency.

The Prime Minister has only allocated an additional $20 million next year for clean development technology, compared with $55 million for its industrial relations campaign. The Howard Government has got its priorities all wrong.

Everyone agrees that technology is important – what is needed is an economic mechanism to drive the development and application of that technology. That mechanism is emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism is a multi-billion dollar fund with 64 projects now registered and another 300 in the pipeline.

Four of the six members of the Climate Pact (China, India, Japan and South Korea) have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.  Only Australia and the United States are on the outside looking in.

The Howard Government must ratify the Kyoto Protocol, establish an emissions trading scheme and substantially increase the mandatory renewable energy target.

The Climate Pact, like other regional and multilateral meetings, will remain an important forum for promoting international partnerships between Governments and industry, but the Pact is no replacement for the Kyoto Protocol.