Australia: Australia is on track to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets mandated under the Kyoto Protocol, the prime minister said Tuesday as the treaty formally took effect in the country.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said government modeling showed that Australia would hit a target of containing carbon emissions blamed for global warming to 108% of 1990 levels by 2010.
“From today, Australia officially becomes part of the global solution on climate change, not just part of the global problem because from today Australia’s ratification of Kyoto enters into force,” he told Parliament.
The first act of Rudd’s centre-left government after it was elected in November was to ratify the 1997 UN climate change protocol. The previous government, along with the United States, had refused to sign the protocol. Washington has still not signed up.
Rudd claimed Australia would have not been able to meet the target under the policies of former Prime Minister John Howard.
Rudd also said he had sent the UN a report on how Australia measures its carbon emissions a year ahead of schedule.
Under the protocol, signed in the Japanese city of Kyoto, 36 developed countries as well as the European Union agreed to targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. Developing countries including China and India have also signed the agreement but are not burdened with targets to curb their emissions.
The treaty came into force in Australia three months after Rudd handed the ratification documents to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a UN climate change conference in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.