We Are Doomed
Sydney Morning Herald 'reports' below.
Forgot to say that this shows just how shit-out-of-luck we are.
Didn't even mention the word solar power.
Australia failing on greenhouse promises
By ANDREW CLENNELL in Canberra
Australia is comprehensively failing to meet its international greenhouse gas emission targets, the Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill, has told Cabinet.
Australia is expected under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to restrict emissions to no more than 8 per cent above 1990 levels 388 million tonnes by 2010.
But Australia's emissions were 19 per cent above 1990 levels in 1998, Senator Hill told Cabinet on Tuesday.
The Government blames strong economic growth for the increase and its own statistics reveal that in 1997 greenhouse gas emissions were only up 11 per cent on 1990 levels.
The 19 per cent jump shows why the Government has been lobbying hard for ``sinks'' or the planting of trees to be used as a way for countries to offset their emissions under the Protocol.
The figure means either emissions increased by a staggering 8 per cent over 1990 levels in 1998 (the total amount they were supposed have increased in 20 years) or that previous estimates were incorrect.
The executive director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Mr Brian Fischer who prepared a report on the economic effects of meeting the Kyoto target presented at Cabinet by the Industry Minister, Senator Minchin said yesterday regional Australia was likely to suffer most from attempts to meet the target.
That was unless Australia won battles at the United Nations greenhouse meeting (Conference of Parties 6) in The Hague in November, against European nations on the use of the ``sinks'' and clean development mechanisms (where countries could gain emissions credits from helping developing countries with cleaner energy sources).
``If we can't negotiate the (outcomes) we're aiming to at COP 6, to meet this target would be very expensive and the costs would fall principally on the industries located in regional Australia,'' Mr Fisher said.
Mr Fisher's best case scenario is that gross national product would fall by 0.5 per cent and petrol prices would rise by 5c a litre.
But if Australia signed the agreement without the conditions it wanted, he says gross national product would fall 1.4per cent and petrol would rise 18c.
Yesterday, the Opposition's environment spokesman, Senator Nick Bolkus, said other countries would be waiting in The Hague for Australia with ``baseball bats''.
``It shows they're not serious,'' he said. ``For a couple of years now we have been getting the line from Senator Hill ... that they have been doing a great job meeting their responsibilities.''
Senator Hill's spokesman said Australia was showing ``world's best practice'' on the issue.
``The level of spending on greenhouse and work being done by the Australian Greenhouse Office are regarded are highly regarded and Senator Bolkus knows that,'' he said.
In April, Senator Hill told the Herald: ``We'll meet the target (8 per cent). We have to meet the target.''
Senator Hill's alarming submission came a day after a public split with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Anderson, over the minister's proposal for a ``greenhouse trigger'', which would allow the Government to take over approvals control for any project which emitted more than 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide gas a year.
Senator Hill will consult the States over the trigger, which he will then present to Cabinet.