Friday, December 07, 2007

Australia reverses recent Kyoto commitment

Australia is one of the countries that has refused to sign the Kyoto treaty committing to a severe cut back in the greenhouse gas emissions. Like the US. But they elected a new liberal prime minister two weeks ago. New Prime Minister Kevin Rudd immediately announced that his government would join the enlightened and sign. He sent 4 or 5 cabinet-level ministers to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali this week. They stated Australia's new commitment to reduce emissions below the 1990 level by 25-40 per cent by 2020. Then Rudd took it back. Took it back? Yes. The electric-generation companies told him that this cut back would increase electricity costs more than 20 per cent because the green technology won't be available for another 10 years. The Herald-Sun reports:
"You are dependent on yet-to-be delivered technology," he said. "The community needs to be aware cuts of this magnitude will come at considerable cost and it's difficult to know how exactly it will be delivered."
Talk is cheap. They counted the cost and backed down. Wise. My guess is that they also looked at what the countries that signed Kyoto have done. Most of them have increased CO2 levels, while the US has reduced ours. The US attained "1.3 percent decline in the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide released in 2006 from energy-related sources." Versus "German emissions rose 0.6% while overall EU emissions went up by 1%-1.5% because of resumed growth in the eurozone." Again, talk is cheap. The Europeans are talking, but not acting.

No comments: