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New climate change pact is just hot air

29 July 2005

New climate change pact is just hot air

The new five-nation pact claiming an "alternative path" to the Kyoto Protocol for addressing climate change is not offering an alternative at all, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

The United States, Australia, China, India and South Korea have this week signed an accord that touts new technology as the way to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuel-based energy production, but has no binding goals for cutting emissions.

"This deal is just hot air designed to make it look like these countries are doing something while making sure they are not held to account for the damage they are causing the planet," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"It is simply nonsense to suggest that new technology is somehow outside the scope of the Kyoto Protocol and an alternative to it.

"Kyoto is about ends, not means. It requires emissions reductions from its signatory nations, but says nothing about how those reductions should be made. Nations are entirely free to achieve those goals by adopting new technology, or by going solar, using less energy, planting more forests, or by trading. Any new technology that works could be used to meet the Kyoto targets.

"What this new pact really means is that the five countries, who are the largest coal exporters in the world, plan to develop new technologies but take no responsibility at all if they do not work. Otherwise they would be using Kyoto to do everything they talk about.

"The climate does not notice what technologies you are using, or how well your economy is doing. It notices only how much carbon you are putting into the atmosphere. If we fail to reduce our carbon emissions, climate will change faster and faster and we will all pay the price."


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