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Kyoto 2 commitment needs serious pollution cuts

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Friday 9 November 2012 Kyoto 2 commitment needs serious pollution cuts Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said: "Minister Combet is taking a hugely important step by committing to the next phase of Kyoto, but it will only truly benefit the climate and will only help achieve a global climate deal if there are serious cuts in pollution attached to it. "The rest of the world will see a 5% cut as the insult it is - demanding that poorer countries do more than we do to tackle the global warming that we caused. “Australia got a free-kick last time with a Kyoto target of 108% and the land clearing loophole - but as the highest per-capita emitter in the world no meaningful agreement including developing nations will be possible if we are expecting a sweetheart deal this time round. "It's critical that the government respects the role of the Climate Authority in recommending a science-based target. But they don't need to wait - just this week we saw a report from PwC, hardly a radical green organisation, saying that we need to quadruple our efforts to cut pollution in order to stay below the 2C limit the government claims to be committed to. "The science is clear - deep cuts in pollution are vital if we are to have any decent chance of avoiding increasingly disastrous extreme weather and everything else global warming will bring. “Kevin Rudd set Australia on the disastrous 5% reduction trajectory in spite of agreement in 2007 in Bali for developed countries to cut their pollution by 25%-40% by 2020. It demonstrates contempt for the climate science to pretend that 5% is anywhere near enough, especially when combined with windfall gains from forest management rules. “In Kyoto in 1997, Australia negotiated a 108% target and then "discovered" on returning home that it could be achieved by stopping land clearance. The same trick card is being played again in Doha. “The UNFCCC cannot allow the wool to be pulled over its eyes again. Any forest carbon windfall gains should be added to the target we take on, not be allowed to contribute to it.” Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562