The Guardian March 13, 2002

Kyoto: Secret deal condemned

New Environment Minister David Kemp has signed a secret deal which ties 
Australia to the US policy of not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

The Australia/US Climate Action Partnership jeopardises ten years of 
negotiations toward developing a coordinated international response to 
climate change.

Ironically, the text of the Kyoto Protocol was repeatedly amended to 
accommodate the obstinacy of Australia and the US.

Calls to ratify the Kyoto Protocol have come from 80 per cent of the 
Australian population as well as from the big end of business.

The largest polluter by volume is the USA and the largest per capita 
polluter is Australia.

With the text of the Kyoto Protocol now finalised many governments will 
move to ratify the Protocol before the World Summit on Sustainable 
Development in Johannesburg this year; the tenth anniversary of the signing 
of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Rio Earth Summit.

The Australian Government could have the casting vote on whether the Kyoto 
Protocol comes into force internationally.

The agreement has been condemned by environment organisations worldwide. It 
threatens Arctic areas, low lying islands and deltas, alpine ecosystems, 
coral reefs, agricultural production, weather patterns and ocean currents; 
systems which support life on earth as we know it.

Take action-express your concern by sending a message to the Federal 
Environment Minister David Kemp, Kemp's adviser on climate issues Michael 
Fitzgerald; and Prime Minister John Howard.

Write to Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 or email:

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