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Australia must support extended Kyoto Protocol

The global climate talks in Durban are deadlocked over how to proceed when the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period ends in 2012 and Australia must show leadership, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said in Durban today.

"It would be an enormous blow to climate action globally if the legally binding Kyoto protocol is allowed to lapse post 2012 with no legally binding treaty or even a pathway towards one," Senator Milne said.

"Minister Combet speaking for the 'umbrella' group, pointedly avoided any commitment to a second Kyoto commitment period by talking instead about a more appropriate 21st century agreement."

In stark contrast UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon said "it would difficult to overstate the gravity of this moment....I urge you to carefully consider a second commitment period under the Kyoto protocol"

At the same time, Connie Heddegard, EU commisioner, was even more direct saying that "the time for talking is over! What is needed is action now" In a powerful speech, she concluded by saying that those state parties that block or undermine action now share an "unbearable responsibility".

Senator Milne said "Australia must reject an option of a political declaration with no binding or enforceable commitments in favour of a second Kyoto commitment period with an associated roadmap for a legally binding global treaty.

"The Australian Government has been ambiguous in its position. Now is the time for Australia to offer leadership on the back of the country's renewed credibility thanks to the clean energy package. Australia must state clearly that we are ready for a second commitment period now."


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