Rudd ratifies Kyoto

AS HIS first act as Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd yesterday morning ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Angie Tomlinson

Australia will become a full member of the Kyoto Protocol before the end of March next year.

Rudd said yesterday's declaration was a significant step forward in Australia's efforts to fight climate change domestically - and with the international community.

Under the Kyoto Protocol obligations Australia will set a target to reduce emissions by 60% on 2000 levels by 2050; establish a national emissions trading scheme by 2010; and set a 20% target for renewable energy by 2020 to dramatically expand the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

"I will also lead the Australian delegation at the opening of the High Level Segment of the United Nations conference on climate change in Bali next week," Rudd said in a statement.

"The conference ... will set out the 'Bali Roadmap' to begin negotiations for the next round of international action against climate change when the first round of targets under the Kyoto Protocol expire in 2012."