Kyoto Protocol extended

December 10, 2005

Kyoto Protocol extended


Montreal, 10 December 2005

For Immediate Release

In the early hours of this morning, at a historic international meeting on climate change the key steps to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 have been agreed signaling the strength of international effort against climate change.

“The Kyoto Protocol has tonight been reinforced as the international communities joint effort to fight dangerous climate change.”  said Julie-Anne Richards of Climate Action Network Australia.  “The world has> shown that it is committed to moving forward within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.  The 157 countries who are Parties to the Protocol, including China and India, have indicated their commitment to extending with enthusiasm the Kyoto Protocol.”

The United Nations Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties(COPMOP) in Montreal agreed to a process to begin discussions on the framework for the post 2012 period of the Kyoto Protocol. This was a vital step to ensuring that the embryonic carbon market, which is expected to flourish within the Kyoto Protocol, had sureity.

What does this mean for Australia? With a fairly weak decision on the convention, there is not much of an outcome that will benefit Australia at the end of this international conference.

Sadly, Australia remains of out this fantastic achievement as one of the few non-ratifying parties to the Kyoto Protocol. This is a serious disadvantage for Australian business who will miss valuable  market opportunities and the Australian people to be part of the international family participating in the Kyoto Protocol.

“This morning's decision recognised that climate change is a serious international issue, effecting peoples across the world and the majority of governments are prepared to take ongoing action.” said Stephanie Long of Friends of the Earth Australia.  “But we are still missing Australia's participation in the Protocol and this is a disappointment for the people> to Australia. It will become increasingly evident that this will be a loss, both of economic and environmental opportunity.”

Decisions adopted earlier today mean that the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2008 – 2012) is now live.  To resounding applause from the meeting, the President of the Conference Stéphane Dion said, "Now the Kyoto Protocol is completely implemented.  With this agreement the Parties have put in place the strongest compliance regime of any sustainable development mechanism.  The Kyoto Protocol is now up and running."

Of course, there will be increasing pressure for Australia to ratify the> Kyoto Protocol in the lead up to the next Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in December 2006.

For further comment from Montreal:

Julie-Anne Richards: Climate Action Network Australia 0407 227 633

Stephanie Long: Friends of the Earth Australia +  1 514 840 1151 (Room 503)

Stephanie Long
Friends of the Earth Australia
0414 136 461