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Australia reverses itself on Kyoto and Global warming

Australia had always shied away from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, due to the non-inclusion of target setting on China and India. This was a position on which it had the prime support of the US Administration under George Bush (who at many points professed not to believe in global warming). It is only when the Australian people voted out John Howard and brought in the liberal party under Kevin Rudd that Australia has finally reversed course and ratified the Kyoto Protocol. In a speech at the Bali conference, the Aussie Prime Minister accepted that richer countries have to take on the responsibility of lending support to the poorer countries in form of financing and technical help:

Australia recognizes the particular responsibility of developed countries to assist developing countries,’ Rudd told the United Nations-sponsored climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia. “In the form of technology transfer, in the form of financial incentives and in the form of support for adaptation. None of us can do it alone.”
We expect all developed countries to embrace a further set of binding emissions targets and we need this meeting at Bali to map out a process and timeline for this to happen,” Rudd said, according to speech notes. “We need developing countries to play their part – with specific commitments for action.”

Of course, one of the basic arguments that are holding up an agreement remain. Hence, for example, developing nations such as Brazil, China and India argue that richer nations have a much higher rate of consumption and emission per capita. They have reached their current level of prosperity by being reckless towards the environment, and it is the right of developing nations to also do the same. However, if we are to stop this growth of global warming, need to ensure that everybody is committed to doing what is required to halt, and possible reverse the trend.

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