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Minister says new figures show Australia is on track to meet Kyoto greenhouse emission targets.

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Wedne sday 2 May 2007

Minister says new figures show Australia is on track to meet Kyoto greenhouse emission targets


PETER CAVE: The Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is citing new fig ures he says show Australia is on track to meet its Kyoto greenhouse emission targets. 


Australia signed, but never ratified, the Kyoto Protocol, but nevertheless committed Australia to keep emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels by 2012.  


Last week, the Climate Institute think tank said Australia was unlikely to meet its Kyoto target - a claim the Government disputed at the time. 


Malcolm Turnbull is speaking to Alexandra Kirk. 


MALCOLM TURNBULL: I'm releasing today Australia's national greenhouse accounts for 2005, and they show greenhouse gas emissions essentially unchanged from 2004, and only a 2.2 per cent increase over the 1990 emissions level. And, as you know, our Kyoto target is to average 108 per cent of 1990 emissions between 2008, 2012, so we are tracking well towards that target. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: But your figures are for 2004-5. The Climate Institute's figures, which you dispute, are more recent than that, and they project all the way to 2010, saying that Australia's increasingly unlikely to meet the Kyoto Protocol target. So aren't your figures a bit out of date? 


MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, our figures are reliable, they're produced by the Australian Greenhouse Office. Australia's carbon accounting system is regarded as the best in the world. This so-called Climate Institute were a series of guesstimates based on partial data, which we think is wrong in any event, and it doesn't take into account any offsets. 


You have to understand that carbon emissions can come from industry, or a motor car, and then they're absorbed somewhere else, perhaps by forestry or land use. So you have to take the whole carbon balance into the picture, and you simply can't do that for 2007, because we don't have enough data, the year isn't over. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: More important, though, isn't it, is what the Government is going to do from 2010 onwards. Are you inclined to support what the European Union has done, and that is setting emissions targets for 2020? 


MALCOLM TURNBULL: We are going to publish a report by a working group, a task group on emissions trading, at the end of this month, and we'll be saying more about issues, you know, emissions targets and issues of that kind then. 


But certainly the Government is not afraid of targets. We have a … we've set our own, well, we've accepted the Kyoto target, and we've set out to meet it, and we're monitoring our performance very carefully. And it is because of measures taken by the Australian Government that by 2010 there'll be 87 million tonnes less of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere from Australia. 


PETER CAVE: Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.