Australian government says technology could reduce emissions three times more than Kyoto

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Less than one week out from the inaugural Asia-Pacific Clean Development and Climate Partnership meeting in Sydney, the Australian government has claimed that technology could be used to cut emissions three times more than the Kyoto Protocol.

Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry said that the six countries at next week's meeting will discuss ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to produce large amounts of energy.

"While Kyoto puddles on, to put it nicely, the real reductions will come from technology" Mr Macfarlane said. "This is not a diplomatic love-in. It's a hard-edged business plan with targets and reporting duties."

The members of the partnership - Australia, the United States, China, India, Japan and South Korea produce around half of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Of the world's developed nations only Australia and the United States have refused to ratify Kyoto.

The pact will not set binding targets upon its members, but will monitor its results.

It is believed that the meeting will discuss nuclear energy generation, geothermal energy and capturing and storing gases underground.

The federal opposition is calling on the Australian government to ratify Kyoto. Environment spokesman, Anthony Albanese, said "The Kyoto Protocol is the main game, with mandatory fixed targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions over an extended timetable, with economic instruments driving the policy outcomes".