It was an unprecedented election campaign in Australia. Every party was forced to take a position on climate change. In the end, Labor was victorious - boosted by a pledge to sign the Kyoto Protocol and generate 20 percent of Australia's energy from renewable sources by 2020.
To cut greenhouse gas emissions, we must close dirty coal-fired power plants like Munmorah in NSW (pictured).
The Kyoto Protocol is the world's only international agreement
with binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. John
Howard, the outgoing Australian Prime Minister, refused to sign it.
Kevin Rudd, the new Prime Minster, made it an election issue.
Howard lost. He was even defeated in his home district, losing
his seat in Parliament - something that's happened to a Prime
Minister only once before in Australian history - and that was in
It's clear Aussies care about climate change, and with the issue
central to the Australian Labor Party's winning campaign, the
nation will want and expect to see real action on the issue, and
Ratifying Kyoto is a good first step. But the key indicator of
the new government's success will be if emissions begin to decrease
during this term, and the only way that is possible is to rid
Australia of its addiction to coal.
The next round of Kyoto negotiations is only a week away. When
the US delegation shows up in Bali, Indonesia, for the talks
they'll be isolated more than ever. Rudd's decision to sign Kyoto
leaves the US as the only major industrialized nation refusing to
"Climate scientists are telling us that emissions of greenhouse
gases must peak in just seven years - 2015 - and then be reduced,"
said Shane Rattenbury, Greenpeace International political director.
"We expect that when Kevin Rudd goes to the Bali negotiations in
two weeks' time, he will take a position of leadership rather than
being the destructive force that Australia has been over the past
Hit 'Stop' on coal
Australians: Remind Prime Minister Rudd why you voted him in - to take action on climate change!
We don't accept money from governments or corporations -- and our financial independence is what allows us to pressure both. We rely on over 2 million people worldwide who give whatever they can. Please support us.