Sep 9, 2005

Kyoto Protocol is working, but Australian business being left behind

Kyoto Protocol is working, but Australian business being left behind


9 September 2005

Countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol are taking significant steps to tackle climate change and companies in those countries are reaping benefits as a result.

Unfortunately, Australian business is being left behind.

Because Australia has not ratified Kyoto, any work Australian companies do to reduce greenhouse emissions will have limited benefits for those companies.

Australian companies such as Pacific Hydro have had to use foreign entities to engage in the lucrative emission trading and clean development market.

The Kyoto Protocol has flexible mechanisms and incentives to encourage clean development.

Monday’s agreement between the EU and China over clean coal technology, energy efficiency and renewable energy will reduce the energy intensity of their economies and reinforce cooperation on the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

Because China and the EU are the world’s second and third biggest emitters of carbon dioxide and both are committed to the Kyoto Protocol, European companies who invest in China under this agreement will receive huge benefits that can be traded or kept as assets.

In August, Japanese companies signed a deal worth $320m under the Kyoto Protocol to assist with a dangerous chemical decomposition project in China.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, construction has started on the $560m West African Gas Pipeline which will transport gas from Nigerian oil fields to Benin, Ghana and Togo. This will help reduce carbon dioxide pollution in Nigeria, where the oil and gas industry is a major source of emissions through flaring.

The Netherlands Development Bank, which is helping to fund the pipeline, estimates $777 million will be saved in fuel costs as Benin, Ghana and Togo will be able to use gas from nearby Nigeria rather than imported liquid fuels. Ghana alone will save $610 million over 20 years and the Netherlands will receive significant economic benefits.

This is win-win project under the Kyoto Protocol.