Australia Ready to Sign Second Kyoto Protocol

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | November 10, 2012 12:11 AM EST

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet declared that Australia's pledge to the second period of the Kyoto Protocol is not a blank check. Australia is set to sign on the second Kyoto Protocol commitment period with the order that developed and still developing countries exert effort towards a new global climate change agreement by 2015.  

"Australia is taking this position to the UN Conference at Doha in a very clear context. First countries right around the world are increasingly taking real action to combat climate change. Secondly, all countries are now working on the new global agreement that will be concluded by 2015, and take effect from 2020," Combet stated in a speech to the Australian Carbon Expo in Melbourne.

"While Australia is doing our fair share, we expect the same from others. The Kyoto Protocol is not enough on its own. It will cover less than 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and only from developed countries," Combet further added.

Also, Minister Combet claimed that the nation's enthusiasm to sign on the second Kyoto Protocol was based on the prolongation of obtainable land sector rules and access to the Kyoto market mechanisms. This includes the Clean Development Mechanism, a method that presents Australian businesses cheaper units to offset a portion of their carbon liability. "If these conditions are met in Doha, Australia will take on an emissions reduction target for the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period consistent with the bipartisan commitment to cut emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020," Combet declared.

The Climate Institute accepted Minister Combet's in-principle commitment to take a new goal under the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period. Erwin Jackson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Climate Institute, stated that the "government's decision will help bolster international efforts to secure a new legally binding agreement to cover all major emitters by 2015. A second round of targets under Kyoto is a critical lever to achieving a new legal binding agreement that covers all major emitters."

Kyoto Protocol is the first global treaty created to require countries cut emissions. Its second commitment period in controlling greenhouse gas emissions is scheduled to start on January 1, 2013.  

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