Australia’s Kyoto Ratification Thrills the World

By Climate Ark and EcoInternet, Inc.
http://www.climateark.org/
Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org
Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol [search] on climate change this week, receiving a deserved standing ovation from Bali climate conference delegates. Ratification resulted from the election of a new Prime Minister. EcoInternet's global network helped a bit, campaigning on many occasions over the past decade for Australia to ratify Kyoto, rejoining responsible nations.

“Australia's embrace of Kyoto shows environmental campaigning should focus not only upon what is easy, but rather take principled long-term positions regarding what is necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability. If Australia can ratify Kyoto, certainly pigs can fly; and coal emissions and ancient forest logging ended”, notes Dr. Glen Barry.


“Global heating threatens the Earth's ecosystems and human habitat. Kyoto establishes important global mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that once universally in place, can be expanded and tightened. With Australia on board, and American elections looming, it is almost certain the U.S. will follow, to be joined by China and India in mandatory emission cuts.”
On several occasions, when Australian Kyoto ratification was considered impossible, EcoInternet's network — including people from most countries and thousands of Australians — sent hundreds of thousands of protest emails, inundating the Australian government. This kept the issue alive, helped raise its profile, and ultimately illustrated Australia's isolation contributing to the current political change.
Congratulations are due to Australia's new leader, Prime Minister Rudd, and to the Australian people for connecting the current deadly drought with their own government's irresponsible climate policies. EcoInternet calls upon the new Labor government to next fully protect Tasmanian and other primary forests, and begin restricting coal production.
###ENDS###
Dr. Glen Barry
President
EcoInternet, Inc.
P.O. Box 433
Denmark, WI 54208
USA
GlenBarry@EcologicalInternet.org
+1 920 776 1075 phone
EcoInternet's projects include:
EcoEarth.Info — http://www.EcoEarth.Info/
Climate Ark — http://www.climateark.org/
Forests.org — http://forests.org/
Water Conserve — http://www.waterconserve.org/
Rainforest Portal — http://www.rainforestportal.org/
Ocean Conserve — http://www.oceanconserve.org/
My.EcoEarth.Info — http://My.EcoEarth.info/

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11 Responses

  1. Boris Branwhite says:

    good stuff glen –
    i have been 'educating' the labor party minions and advisors on this, and other eco issues for a long time now – its great to see some sanity creeping in — however, there has been a split in the environment ministry – theres a new ministry of climate change and water, [supposedly a ministry dealing with international affairs] and the environment ministry has had arts, and heritage added to the portfolio — we will have to wait and see how it pans out – looks good internationally, but shaky on internal policies relating to flora and fauna –
    :}
    b
    “every drop of rain that falls ends up in the mouths of whales – it is up to humans to control what substances enter that raindrop during its journey to the ocean”

  2. Norma says:

    Thanks!!! for the news!
    …haven't gotten to the newspaper yet…
    N.

  3. Geoff Lazarus says:

    Glen, While congratulating Kevin Rudd for Australia's signing of Kyoto is in
    order, it is also somewhat ironic in many ways.
    His pro big business views mean that his Government is:
    -backing expansion of Australia's Coal Industry
    -supporting the devestation of Tasmanian forests through support for a dioxin
    pollutiong paper mill in norther Tasmania
    – avoiding setting down short-term targets for Co2 emissions
    – similarly avoiding the development of infrastructure required to reduce
    emissions or deal with rising fuel prices
    If you don't have viable short, medium and long term plans to deal with
    global warming based around avoiding temp rises of less than 2degrees, then nations
    are not serious about the issue.
    The major challenge will be to get countries making the right noises to
    actually devise and implement adequate plans. Getting Australia to do so under Rudd
    is a huge challenge.
    Geoff Lazarus

  4. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    Absolutely agree with everything you say. Coal is king in Australia, as it is in many places. I think it is important we congratulate incremental good behavior as we will never get all that is necessary in one gulp. I raised these issues at the end of the press release.
    Regards,
    Glen

  5. Phil Westwood says:

    Yes Glen, Australia's ratification of Kyoto is a stellar example of how pressure can work. It's particularly interesting that the remnants of the previous government now also support the Kyoto Protocol!
    We hope there will be further policy changes but with big businesses still in the driver's seat and the new Environment Minister effectively side-lined by the Prime Minister, it will still be a battle to ensure there are changes to logging practices within Australia.
    Cheers
    Phil Westwood
    Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc Landcare Group
    http://bassbush.htmlplanet.com
    margo kroyer-pedersen widlife shelter

  6. Alan Fleming says:

    Dear Glen,
    I am very sorry to have to write to you to say that your press release regarding australia's siging of the kyoto protocol saddens me greatly. I have been a supporter of EcoInternet's email actions and financially for some time. I heard that at one point you had intended to go to the Bali conference but did not go after all. If you had been able to go you would have met my wife, Almuth, there and I am sure she would have much liked to meet you.
    I am sending you a couple of things, one she wrote and one she sent. Could it not be that Australia's government have simply realised that they are missing a share of the market by signing kyoto? Whatever the reason, it is nothing to celebrate and not good for our future. I will continue to support EcoInternet – however I will be cautious about which email actions I take part in. And please consider how EI can best avoid supporting the false solutions which Almuth talks about.
    Yours sincerely, Alan Fleming
    Hi,
    I thought people might like to see some alternative
    views from the Bali Climate Conference. I am here
    with a colleague from Biofuelwatch and we joined in
    with others who formed a Climate Justice Group –
    people who are horrified to see that the climate
    negotiations are little else than a carbon trade fair,
    with critical NGOs being virtually excluded and
    completely marginalise, all NGOs moved to a venue 20
    minutes from the main conference centre, and with
    indigenous peoples organisations not given a proper
    voice.
    Here is the first edition of a short newsletter which
    our colleagues have written:
    http://www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?&act_id=17652.
    And below is an article by the World Rainforest
    Movement.
    Good luck on 8th December!
    Best wishes,
    Almuth
    WRM: (www.wrm.org.uy)
    OUR VIEWPOINT
    – The 13th round of the climate game in Bali
    In 1992, governments acknowledged that climate change
    was real and that something needed to be done to avoid
    a major catastrophe. As a result, they signed and
    ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on
    Climate Change (UNFCCC). Fifteen years have passed and
    the Convention's Conference of the Parties will meet
    for its 13th time in Bali, Indonesia, from 3-14
    December 2007.
    How much has this convention achieved to counter the
    problem it was created to address? Have the main
    emitters reduced their emissions? The press release
    prepared for this event by the Convention's
    secretariat gives a clear answer to both questions,
    when it says:
    "According to data submitted to the secretariat of the
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    (UNFCCC), the total greenhouse gas emissions of 40
    industrialized countries rose to an all-time high in
    2005, continuing the upward trend of the year before."
    This means that the countries that bear most of the
    responsibility for destroying the Earth's climate are
    continuing to do so. In spite of that, they will again
    attend the Climate Change Convention and will put
    forward new proposals

  7. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    Hi Alan,
    I am aware that my continued support for the Kyoto process rubs some wrong. The weaknesses of the system are well known, and I agree with most of these critiques. Yet short of revolution, what is the alternative international process to enable nations to cooperatively reduce emissions? Do we just throw Kyoto away? Or does it provide the basis and mechanisms for something that can be tightened much as the Montreal Protocol was?
    It is all well and good to be against things — both in climate and rainforests — but what is the alternative? Is our message that you cannot log rainforests, or even be paid not to cut them down? We are against many things, but what are we for? I am for any commitments to reduce emissions and end ancient forest logging, even if this means I am sometimes politically incorrect.
    Yes, international consensus is messy and rarely achieves what we know to be necessary. The devil is in the details. But Kyoto appears to be the only game in town on the scale to make a difference. I stand by our approach of outlining a radical vision for global ecological sustainability, and pursuing, highlighting and even congratulating incremental progress towards the vision.
    Sincerely,
    Glen

  8. Demesure says:

    Dr Barry,
    Generally, governments intervention is made through price-incentive taxes (in Europe, energy price is heavily taxed hence the small cars and house, in Japan, food prices are sky high, hence the thin people…).
    Kyoto has been chosen because it's a good way to grab power and money for UN bureaucrats. Suggesting that because it's the only thing done, it'd be de facto right and must be continued is the perfect recipe for yet another blunder.

  9. Loren says:

    Do the standard positions of developing countries on climate change possibly leave them worse off?
    http://endpovertyinsouthasia.worldbank.org/some-doubts-about-developing-countries-positions-climate-change

  10. Paul Knobel says:

    I totally agree. best wishes Paul Knobel

  11. Gretchen Boise says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes!
    An idea: the countries with the oil underground should not give it to the ones who abuse it, should ration it out and not use it up.
    Gretchen Boise

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