Christian agencies welcome Australia’s climate announcement

By staff writers
December 4, 2007

Optimism emerged during early sessions of the UN climate talks in Bali this week when Australia promised to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible, leaving the USA as the only large developed nation outside the global framework.

As Australia’s new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, took the oath of office in Australia, the Bali gathering of nearly 200 nations greeted the Kyoto announcement by the Australian delegation with a spontaneous ovation.

"I think I can speak for all present here by expressing a sigh of relief," said conference host and Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar.

The news was also welcomed by two of the Christian development agencies at the Bali Conference, Tearfund UK and TEAR Australia.

Ben Thurley, Advocacy Co-ordinator for TEAR Australia, said he was “thrilled that the first act of our new Prime Minister was action on Kyoto. I hope it signals a new era in climate change negotiations and that Australia will now take more of a lead in the right direction.” he said

Andy Atkins, Advocacy director of Tearfund UK, added: “This is a huge boost to the Bali talks, good for Australia and the world’s poorest people who suffer most at the hands of a changing climate. And it also increases pressure on the USA to get behind an international solution to the borderless problem of climate change.”

Nearly 200 nations are in Bali seeking a breakthrough for a new global agreement to fight climate change by 2009 to avert droughts, heat waves and rising seas that will hit the poorest hardest.

A new treaty is meant to widen the Kyoto Protocol, which binds 36 industrial countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. The United States and developing nations have no caps under Kyoto.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.