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Indonesia: Bali conference delivers climate declaration.

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Monday 10 December 2007

Indonesia: Bali conference delivers climate declaration


MARK COLVIN: The United Nations climate declaration is out, and already some countries are trying to water down the key text. 


The sticking point for Australia is the call for developed countries as a whole to agree to short-term emissions cuts.  


The European Union has delivered a diplomatic rebuke to the group which includes Australia describing the position as "unconstructive".  


The Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett has now made his much anticipated arrival at Bali but he's yet to answer questions from the media about Australia's stance.  


Environment reporter Sarah Clarke reports from the conference in Nusa Dua. 


SARAH CLARKE: The reaction to the United National draft declaration has been mixed. Europe says it's a positive global step to address the serious nature of climate change but Australia, Canada and Japan are united in their opposition to a 25 to 40 per cent cut in emissions by 2020.  


The European Union spokesman, Nuno Locasto (phonetic) says that kind of opposition is not in the global interests. 


NUNO LOCASTO: As we have said repeatedly, we believe that there should be a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement to be agreed by 2009. I think by global, of course, means including all parties by comprehensive it means includes all the key issues that are necessary to tackle the challenge of climate change. 


Therefore, as we've been saying repeatedly, we need to ensure that all parties participate in this agreement. 


Being the US the major emitter, we would foresee nothing else but their participation. 


We are constructive, we would expect other parties to be constructive and we are seeing signals, we are not seeing signals to the contrary of that. 


SARAH CLARKE: On the first day of deliberations over the draft declaration, some countries are already trying to water down the text and lobby nations to change their position. 


Stephen Campbell is from Greenpeace. 


STEPHEN CAMPBELL: What we are hearing today is some members of the Australian delegation saying that nobody here at the conference is committed to emissions reduction target of 25 to 40 per cent which is simply untrue. 


There is many of the parties who are here in Bali who are committed to that kind of target and if Australia wants to show real leadership, to show that they are going to be in the tent and if they are going to be part of the group of countries who are going to move these negotiations forward, they need to step up, they need to support these measures and they need to ensure that those other parties who are brought along with them. 


SARAH CLARKE: After a briefing from the Australian delegation, the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett met US Democrat Senator, John Kerry to discuss the United State's position. 


The US is now the only industrialised country not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and has again come under attack for its failure to play a part at this meeting. 


Peter Garrett says the United States and Australia must co-operate if this conference is to deliver a road map for a new agreement when the Kyoto deal winds up. 


PETER GARRETT: I very much welcome the comments that Senator Kerry has made. We recognise that the United States can and will and does play an important leadership role but we also recognise that there is a number of areas where we can work productively and co-operatively together. 


The opportunity to identify some of those areas and to know that there is a strong momentum happening right across the congress on these issues was very welcomed. 


MARK COLVIN: The Environment Minister Peter Garrett ending Sarah Clarke's report.