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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2006 / 0109

0109

media advisory
friends of the earth international
january 9, 2006

sydney climate change talks do not address climate change

Sydney (Australia) January 9, 2006. A Climate Change meeting attended by top officials from Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the US to be held in Sydney from 11-13 January will focus on voluntary instead of compulsory measures to reduce climate change-causing emissions. [1]

Agreements on such voluntary action will prove meaningless in the face of efforts needed to address the scale of the problem, according to Friends of the Earth International. [2]

The meeting was initially planned for November 2005 in Adelaide and then postponed. In a desperate attempt to revive the ‘Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate’ meeting in Sydney, Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell declared the so-called Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change dead, despite the fact that world leaders reached on 10 December 2005 in Montreal (Canada) a historic agreement on future action to tackle climate change under the Protocol. [3]

“Minister Campbell was at the Montreal talks and is purposefully misleading the Australian people and international community in a desperate bid to gain support for the meeting in Sydney,” said Friends of the Earth Australia’s climate spokesperson Stephanie Long.

“From Australian Senate Estimates transcripts, it is increasingly evident that this Asia Pacific partnership is a deal of no substance. Australian Bureaucrats could provide no details of funding, membership conditions or committed emissions reduction actions of the partnership” said Ms. Long.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, was announced in July 2005 and brings together Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the US, to look to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than setting specific targets to reduce them.

The partnership, established through secret talks, was led by Australia and the US. Neither country has signed the Kyoto Protocol. They are the only major global polluters not to take on legally binding targets. It is not yet clear which technologies are being considered in the partnership or if any new financial support will be available for their development.

“While the Australian government argues that this partnership will succeed where Kyoto has failed, they have yet to explain how this would be possible without market regulation to drive investment in greenhouse friendly technologies. A deal on technology, supported by voluntary measures to reduce emissions, will not address climate change,” said Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner, Catherine Pearce.

Friends of the Earth International believes that both Australia and the American Administration are using this partnership to undermine efforts under Kyoto, deflecting attention away from their appalling inaction on climate change and to secure the coal markets in Asia on which their economies are increasingly dependent.

for further comment

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner Catherine Pearce
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7566 1723 Mobile: + 44 (0)7811 283641

Friends of the Earth Australia International Climate Justice Spokesperson Stephanie Long
Tel: + 61 (0) 2 6680 3337

notes to editors

[1] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, along with Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and presidential adviser James Connaughton planned to meet in Sydney, Australia, 11-13 January, with representatives from five Asian and Pacific nations. Along with the U.S, these countries account for nearly half the world's population, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and economic output. However, Ms Rice announced she cancelled her trip to observe the progress of President Sharon’s health after his recent stoke.**

[2] Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate vision statement available at: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/fs/50335.htm

[3]* *To prevent climate catastrophe, it is essential that the Montreal deal will lead to significantly deeper cuts in climate change-causing emissions after 2012, when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends.


background information available at http://www.foe.org.au/climate

 

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