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Australian election result leaves Bush isolated

Australian election result leaves Bush isolated on climate

Sunday 25 November 2007 - The new Australian Government's commitment to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol leaves US President George Bush isolated in his battle against international action on climate change, says Greenpeace.

"There's likely to be a sigh of relief from government negotiators around the world who're heading to Bali next week for discussions on how to strengthen the Kyoto climate treaty in its second phase, post-2012," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Jim Footner.

"The atmosphere at next week's talks will be markedly different due to this election result. The US Administration will no longer be able to plot with the Australians to destroy progress."

The Australian Prime Minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, has promised to ratify ?the Kyoto Protocol – in marked contrast to the outgoing premier, John ?Howard, who sided with the US for 10 years in fighting the international process.

Australia's ratification of Kyoto will leave the US as the only ?industrialised country which has not ratified the international ?agreement. Greenpeace was instrumental in getting the Australian Labour Party to adopt its pro-Kyoto stance.

"UN climate scientists are telling us that emissions of greenhouse gases must peak in just seven years – 2015 – and then be reduced. We expect that when Kevin Rudd goes to the Bali negotiations, he'll take a position of leadership rather than being the destructive force that Australia has been over the past decade," said Mr Footner.

Greenpeace called on both New Zealand and Australia to join with the European Union by committing to cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of at least 30 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 – the levels of reductions required from industrialised countries in order to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

"Developed countries like Australia and New Zealand have a vital role to play in ensuring progress."

ENDS

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