Forget Kyoto

Banged out an op-ed earlier today which will appear in Tuesday’s SMH on Australia’s appallingly high levels of carbon emissions. Here is the intro:

Recent calls by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Robin Batterham, for Australia to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 have reignited the debate about what we should do to tackle its high level of carbon emissions. Australia is the largest per capita producer of greenhouse gases in the industrialised world, emitting more than double the average rate for industrialised countries. And Australia’s emissions are increasing. With overwhelming scientific evidence that such emissions are driving an increase in global temperatures that will have a potentially devastating effect on the world, there is no time to waste.

Click here (or here) to read the op-ed.

[Posted by David Madden]

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1 Response to Forget Kyoto

  1. Carl Sparre says:

    David Madden. Since your posting, two important events have occurred. One, Russia has ratified, making the Kyoto protocol law. Second, John Howard, the man who turned his back on Kyoto, has just been re-elected. I was hoping for a Latham victory so that I could end my ‘sign Kyoto’ crusade. Unfortunately, not many people saw global warming as a factor in making their vote. I guess it’s hard to think of the grandchildrens habitat when the mortgage and superannuation is (allegedly) at stake.

    When you say that the protocol is flawed, aren’t you just saying that it will not be in Australia’s economic interest to ratify? This was certainly the case prior to Russia signing up. By not signing, we helped keep the demand for fossil fuels high. Now, the only effect is to ensure we do our small bit, by keeping our own emissions in check. Surely we should now sign up, and take the high ground in helping to bring the USA on board. Failing to sign makes us the bad guys, along with the USA. I’d be embarrassed to meet a green European and tell them I’m from Australia right now.

    In the Kyoto affected world, energy efficiency and renewable energy production have just leapt in importance. Investment in these areas will no doubt skyrocket, now that there is a guaranteed return. My fear is that Australia will miss the boat. By the time we are brought to the table, kicking and screaming, Europe will lead the world in these technologies. Australia will have lost its fossil fuel income, and have nothing to replace it with.

    Carl Sparre
    Eastwood, NSW, Australia.

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