Skip to comments.New Asia-Pacific climate plan (US, China, India, S. Korea, Australia secret pact to replace Kyoto)
Posted on 07/26/2005 10:12:47 PM PDT by HAL9000
AUSTRALIA has joined the US, China, India and South Korea in a secret regional pact on greenhouse emissions to replace the controversial Kyoto climate protocol.
The alliance, which is yet to be announced, will bring together nations that together account for more than 40 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
To be known as the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, the grouping will aim to use the latest technologies to limit emissions and to make sure the technologies are available in the areas and industries that need them most.
The US and Australia have refused to sign the Kyoto protocol -- an international agreement setting greenhouse gas emission targets for developed countries by 2012. China and India are not limited by it because they are considered developing economies.
The US initiative has been discussed between the five nations for five months and is viewed as a practical attempt to rein in greenhouse emissions without harming development or economic growth in the region.
John Howard discussed the greenhouse strategy with US President George W.Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a series of meetings at the White House during Mr Howard's trip to Washington last week.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held meetings with Mr Bush on the same topic on the same day.
The US has been driving the negotiations but Australia has been part of the deal, given its vital interests in coal and gas exports to China and South Korea, as well as negotiations with China on uranium sales for nuclear energy.
While Mr Howard and Mr Bush concede there is a threat from climate change, they have refused to sign the Kyoto protocol and are instead looking at a "post-Kyoto" strategy.
The Howard Government, which believes Kyoto will harm Australia's economy and hurt coal exports, yesterday released a report on greenhouse gas emissions.
The report warned climate change was inevitable and Australia should expect higher temperatures, more droughts, severe cyclones and storm surges in the next 30-50 years.
In Australia, the CSIRO predicts temperatures could rise between 1C and 6C by 2070. Average global temperatures have already risen 0.6C in the past 100 years as a result of accumulated greenhouse gases.
The report identifies Cairns, the Murray Darling Basin and south west West Australia as the three regions most vulnerable to the expected consequences of climate change.
Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell conceded Australia would have to do more to reduce greenhouse gases but said the Kyoto protocol was not the answer.
"You need a comprehensive agreement that involves all of the major emitters. At the moment we don't have that," he said. "By moving more and more towards renewable (energy), such as solar and wind, and a whole range of technologies that we can develop here in Australia and ultimately export to places like China and India -- building partnerships with these countries is going to be the solution."
In April, The Australian revealed Australia's role in brokering the new-generation greenhouse reduction plan. Discussions at that stage focused on moving away from binding greenhouse gas reduction targets to voluntary emission reductions for industry.
Mr Bush and Mr Howard are convinced modern technology, which can improve efficiency and reduce waste in industry and power generation, is the key to reducing greenhouse emissions.
My brother works for GE at a time lots of american jobs are going overseas. If Carter could bail out Crysler, then why not encourage the gov't to invest in environment friendly products?
I mean, who do you want to do the R&D for this? If the govt pumps a little money into GE, then so will lots of investors (which is why they want to fund embryonic stem cells from govt funding: private investors figure their money will be wasted and don't invest, but if there is govt oversight then there is a better chance of long term profit.)
Remember: FR is a republican site. We don't think making money is a sin...
Some on here do think that making money is bad though!
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