New Australia PM ratifies Kyoto

Kevin Rudd ratifies climate change pact hours after being sworn into office.

    Rudd said his government would "turn
    a new page" of Australia's future [AFP]

    The move makes the US now the only developed nation not to ratify the Kyoto agreement, which sets binding limits on developed countries to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.

     

    Signing up to Kyoto had been one of Rudd's campaign pledges as he led his centre-left Labor party to victory and brought an end to 11 years of conservative rule.

     

    Your Views

    "Climate change will bring positive changes in the world and the fight against Pollution will bring optimistic reforms."

    Mohamed Hassan, Somalia

    Send us your views

    Next week Rudd will lead a delegation to the UN summit in the Indonesian island of Bali where negotiations began on Monday on new pollution targets after the Kyoto pact expires in 2012.

     

    "Australia's official declaration today that we will become a member of the Kyoto Protocol is a significant step forward in our country's efforts to fight climate change domestically - and with the international community," Rudd said.

     

    Rudd's predecessor, John Howard, had argued that Australia would not agree to a pact setting greenhouse gas emission targets unless big polluters among developing countries such as China and India were also subject to binding targets.

     

    Australia's change of course is likely to see the country's standing soar at the Bali climate talks, adding to pressure on the US to join the Kyoto framework.

     

    After taking the oath of office at Government House in Canberra, Rudd gathered his cabinet for their first formal meeting saying Australia was turning "a new page into the future".

     

    Rudd's cabinet includes the first woman deputy PM and the first climate change minister [AFP]

     

    "It's getting down to work on the agenda we put to the people during the election period. I'm really looking forward to that," he said.

     

    Aside from reversing Howard's refusal to ratify the Kyoto pact, Rudd has promised several other sharp changes in policy from his predecessor, including pledges to pull all Australian troops out of Iraq and dismantle union-busting labour laws.

     

    Included in Rudd's new cabinet are Julia Gillard, Australia's first woman to hold the post of deputy prime minister, and Penny Wong the country's first climate change minister and first Asian-born minister in the Australian government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.