Sunday, June 15, 2008

Australia accused of dragging post-Kyoto chain

Glen Milne was saying only today that the Australian Labor Party might spin itself into being the first one-term government in the modern political era.

I can see that happening, if they do not follow through with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol they ratified on Australia's behalf as their first act of government.

According to a delegate at the Bonn summit where representatives from 172 countries began gathering proposals on measures to slow global warming by curbing carbon emissions and on how to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

Australia has been accused of dragging the chain.

But participants said not enough ideas were put on the table, and environmental organisations accused Australia, the US and Canada of obstructing progress.

The Climate Institute CEO John Connor said Australia must reveal how much revenue from a carbon emissions trading scheme would be invested in climate change initiatives.

"These climate talks have concluded amidst mounting concern, but not yet panic, about the ability of world leaders to conclude a global agreement by end of 2009 as agreed in Bali," Mr Connor said from Bonn.

"In the end all parties agreed that a new spirit of commitment and urgency will be needed to reach the shared desire for a global agreement.

"Australia can help this by signalling that it will do its fair share by dedicating a significant amount of its emissions trading revenue into ensuring developing countries build clean energy infrastructure and help prepare them for the impacts of unavoidable climate change."

The fortnight of talks in Bonn marks the first major climate change meeting since the gathering in Bali last December.

The aim is to devise an accord to succeed the 1997 Kyoto protocol, which set targets for 37 industrial countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average of five per cent by 2012.

Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate change official, said the proposals needed to become much more focused.

Harald Dovland, the Norwegian chairman of a key working group, was frustrated at the slow progress in Bonn.

"We need a completely new spirit of co-operation," he said.

"If we continue in this mode and speed of work, I fear we will not succeed in achieving the goals set in our work program."

Delegates will reconvene in August in Accra, Ghana, and again in Poznan, Poland, in December.

At least four more major conferences are scheduled for 2009.

Comment was being sought from the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

Australia only contributes 1 or 2% of the world's GHG emissions, or so we are often told by the skeptics. And, if you exclude our coal exports, they have a point. If we only sluggishly work our way down to our targets, we are not going to make much of an overall impact. The skeptics are right about that.

So if we (the people) are going to go through the pain of transferring from one economy to another anyway, then there is only one way to do it that makes sense, and that is to take a leadership role and make the maximum impact possible. After 12 years of being known as denialists and delayers of action, we are uniquely positioned to lead by example, but only have one shot at assuming this: Before the standing ovation Australia's delegation received at the Bali conference becomes a distant memory.

1 comment:

led flashlights canada said...

This does work for a select few people, it does not work for everyone. Myself being one of them. It was worth a shot though!