Kyoto Goals Difficult to Meet

by William Yeatman on December 7, 1999

According to Australian government officials, it would be very difficult to meet the goals set out in the Kyoto Protocol, even though Australia secured one of the least onerous targets among industrialized nations. Australias target is an emission level of 8 percent above 1990 levels. “Our abatement costs are high because we have built our economy around, a lot of our economy, around comparatively cheap carbon fuels,” Environment Minister Robert Hill said.

Hills main objection is that developing nations are not required to meet emissions reduction targets. “We accepted a commitment in Kyoto that’s challenging for Australia but nevertheless fair compared to that accepted by others. And we are in the process of implementing programs to meeting that commitment,” said Hill.

“If the result of the Kyoto Protocol is simply a transfer of resources emissions from a developed country to the developing, and you don’t get a better environmental outcome, then you may get a[n]economic loss. That’s why it’s a challenge to bring developing countries emitters within the loop in a meaningful way as soon as possible to avoid that” (AAP Newsfeed, December 2, 1999).

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