International environment and development groups urge Australia to break its silence on Kyoto Protocol

Posted on 08 November 2012   |  
Clouds on planet Earth as seen from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Clouds on planet Earth as seen from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
The heads of seven major international environment and development NGOs have today urged Australia to commit to a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol in advance of next month’s UN Climate Summit (COP18) in Doha.

Representing over 10 million members and supporters, Wael Hmaidan (Director, Climate Action Network), Jeremy Hobbs (Executive Director, Oxfam International), Jim Leape (Director General, WWF International), Robert Glasser (Secretary General, CARE International), Kumi Naidoo (Executive Director, Greenpeace International), Matthew Maury (National Director, TEAR Australia) and Tim Costello (CEO, World Vision Australia), have written an open letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, requesting Australia give a clear signal now of its intention to continue in the landmark climate agreement.

“Failing to recommit to Kyoto risks eroding Australia’s standing within the UN climate negotiations and undermines our ability to influence other major emitting nations,” said Will McGoldrick, Policy Manager, Climate Change, for WWF-Australia.

The Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding commitments on industrialised countries to reduce their emissions, started in 2005 and provides the foundation for a rules-based, global response to climate change. The Protocol’s first commitment period expires this year.

“A second Kyoto commitment period is the missing link, providing the legal and political bridge to a more inclusive 2015 global agreement on climate change that includes countries like US, China and India,” said Mr McGoldrick.

According to Kelly Dent, Oxfam’s Climate Change Policy Advisor, it would be a great disappointment if the Government steps back from this commitment in Doha.

“Human induced climate change is likely to present serious challenges to poor communities around the globe in the future,” said Ms Dent. “Without immediate action, 50 years of development gains in poor countries may be lost, as cyclones are predicted to become more intense, heat waves increase, sea levels rise and rainfall patterns change.”

The letter urges Australia to take on a fair share of the global effort by committing to emissions reductions of at least 25 per cent by 2020. It also asks for increased financial support to developing countries to adapt to climate change and implement low-carbon development pathways.

Letter attached.

Media contacts:
Karen Kalpage, Communications Manager, WWF-Australia, 0410 221 410
Laurelle Keough, Media Coordinator - Advocacy & Campaigns | Oxfam Australia, 0425 701 801


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