Australian Kyoto target will be met

03 March 2008

Australia will meet the Kyoto Protocol emission-reductions target it was set in Japan in 1997, according to a government report leaked to the press.


A Department of Climate Change audit of greenhouse gas emissions, obtained by The Age newspaper, said the target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions by 2008-2012 would be met.

By threatening to leave the negotiations in Kyoto , the Australian delegation to the United Nations meeting negotiated the best deal of any of the signatories, the report said.


Australia could meet its Kyoto commitment not by reducing emissions, but by having recognized its slowing rate of land clearing and increasing rate of reforestation.

Greenhouse gases produced by electricity generation will have grown by more than half over the Kyoto period while emissions from vehicles will have risen by more than 40 per cent.

The Climate Institute's Irwin Jackson told the paper that officials should not be congratulating themselves for increasing emissions.


"We need to reduce emissions," he said. "We should be aiming for a 20-per-cent reduction in emissions by 2020, not a 20-per-cent increase."

Australia signed the protocol in 1997 but the conservative government under John Howard, which was voted out of office in November, refused to ratify it.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the protocol in December in his first act as Australia 's new leader.

Rudd has refused to sign any replacement for Kyoto that doesn't also set binding targets for China , India , Indonesia and other big-emitting developing countries.



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