APEC declaration a Sydney distraction from action on climate change

Press release - September 10, 2007
Only binding targets to reduce greenhouse emissions can save the world from the dangerous impacts of climate change but APEC leaders have instead chosen to support only vague and voluntary goals, Greenpeace said today.

"The Sydney Declaration is really just a Sydney distraction from real action on climate change," Greenpeace climate campaigner Cindy Baxter said.

"The failure of this APEC to produce meaningful progress on climate change confirms that the place to do this is at the Kyoto negotiations in Bali in December."

Ms Baxter said the Sydney Declaration´s non-binding aspirational goal of reducing energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030 would mean business as usual. In most APEC countries energy intensity would improve by this amount by 2030 anyway - but overall emissions would continue to rise, she said.

"Bali is where the world will set the agenda for a strong mandate on climate change, setting in place agreements on binding targets and timetables to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

"Today APEC leaders supported the Australian Government in little more than a political stunt. They have professed concern about climate change while agreeing to no real action to move forward."

"If this is the platform for future climate action then the world is in trouble," Ms Baxter said. "In New Zealand climate change will mean more extreme weather events such as severe droughts."

"This week we have seen a new coal mine approved in NSW, more

uranium being pushed out the door and George Bush confusing APEC with OPEC. This demonstrates the real agenda behind what has happened here in Sydney which is taking us in the wrong direction."

"While John Howard billed APEC as "the most important gathering of leaders to discuss climate change since the 1992 Rio Conference," in reality it has failed to deliver on climate change." concluded Ms Baxter.

Other contacts: Cindy Baxter, +61407 284 916 Michelle Thomas, +6421 577556

Exp. contact date: 2007-10-10 00:00:00