The Prime Minister, John Howard, has finally now stated
his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. He has capitulated
to the mining industry and other carbon-based industries
and interest groups. Click here
for a report of the PM's position, and click
here for the
Leader of the Opposition's response to Kyoto (July 2001).
Instead of trying
to make the Kyoto Protocol work - after ten years of negotiation
- Australia has followed the USA in putting 'national interests'
before the future of the Earth community.
The Social Action Office has prepared a Fact Sheet on
Climate Change and an Action Sheet for lobbying.
here for the Climate Change Fact Sheet.
Click here for the Action
MUST KEEP THE PRESSURE ON. It is vital that the
Australian Government ratifies the Kyoto Protocol in the
lead-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg in late August-early September
join with others in lobbying for this.
Many nations have ratified the Kyoto Protocol
- most recently, Japan. Click
here to access the list of nations who have met their
international obligations and ratified the Protocol.
(Under the Kyoto Protocol heading on the right
hand side, click on Kyoto Protocol Status of Ratification.)
On 29 November 2001 Archbishop Renato Martino, the Holy
See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations, delivered
an address regarding the protection of the environment.
The address particularly focussed on global warming. Click
here to access this address.
The Social Action Office has a copy of Rising
Waters: Global Warming and the fate of the Pacific Islands.
It is available for borrowing. Just email
This video shows
that global warming is not just something that looms in
the distant horizon. The threat to low-lying Pacific islands
has already begun. Solidarity calls for a response from
the developed nations whose profligate use of fossil fuels
is the cause of this environmental catastrophe. The video
highlights a major climate justice
issue. An excellent resource.
Earlier this year Australia announced an agreement with
the USA to establish a Climate Change Partnership.
This followed meetings between Dr David Kemp, Australian
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, and senior
members of the Bush Administration including the EPA
Administrator, Christine Todd Whitman.
The idea is
to focus on practical approaches toward dealing with climate
change. If this agreement was entered into against a background
of a commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, this could be seen
as a positive. However, the USA has withdrawn completely
from the Kyoto process and the Australian Government
has also refused to ratify the agreement.
of the Earth (FOE) have prepared a response to this new
development. It is worth reading and, on this basis, taking
action. Click here for the
FOE response. This includes some excellent links.
George W Bush has come up with his own plan for climate
change. Given his close political relationship with the
fossil fuel energy lobby in the USA it is difficult not
to be sceptical. Click here for
a US response to the Presidents plans by the World
The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
is this countrys
most august scientific body hardly prone to exaggeration
and hysteria. Recently, the NAS warned that it is
possible that the global warming trend projected over the
course of the next 100 years could, without warning, dramatically
accelerate in just a handful of years forcing a qualitative
new climatic regime which could undermine ecosystems and
human settlements throughout the world, leaving little or
no time for plants, animals and humans to adjust. The new
climate could result in a wholesale change in the Earths
environment, with effects that would be felt for thousands
of years. (from a Guardian Weekly (GW) report
by Jeremy Rifkin, March 7-13, 2002 page 11)
This GW account
of a recent NAS report is available from the SAO.
is the dark side of the commercial ledger
for the industrial age!
In late October-early November 2001 in
Marrakesh, Morocco, world environment and energy ministers
on the rulebook to govern the Kyoto Protocol to limit global
warming. This is a positive outcome for the Earth Community
after many years of negotiations. The protocol still
its enemies and the process of ratification is not guaranteed.
The Kyoto Protocol will only come into legal force when
it is ratified by the governments of at least 55 countries
responsible for 55 percent of 1990 CO2 emissions. The
withdrawal of the USA makes this difficult as that nation
is the biggest greenhouse polluter. However,
the protocol can survive if countries like Japan and Russia
ratify and make up the numbers. It is an essential first
step. Many nations have agreed to ratify without the
yet to finally declare its final position. The place of
developing countries is being used as an excuse not to ratify.
Click here for a summary of the
position on developing nations.
So far, it looks
as if Australia is well and truly allied with the USA. This
is not good enough and we must continue to urge the Australian
Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.