Australia Set to Reject Global Warming Treaty, by Gretchen Randall

BACKGROUND: Reuters News Service reports that Australian Prime Minister John Howard said today his government will not ratify the Kyoto Treaty because of the economic impact it would have on jobs there. Howard said, “For us to ratify the protocol would cost us jobs and damage our industry.” The Kyoto Treaty aims to cut worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases but provides exemptions to developing nations. President Bush has said he will not implement the treaty because of the harm it would do to the economy. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution 95-0 in 1997 that says the Senate will not ratify any treaty that would harm the U.S. economy or fails to require developing nations to reduce emissions.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: Australia should be applauded for standing up to pressure from environmentalists and instead choosing to protect jobs for its people.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: Like Australia, the U.S. has wisely chosen not to ratify this treaty because of the enormous burden it would impose on our economy. President Bush should be aware there are provisions in the Senate version of the energy bill that mirror the Kyoto Treaty and run contrary to his recently re-affirmed position on global warming policy.

DISCUSSION: The Kyoto Treaty, designed to cut worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, was signed in 1997 but never ratified by the U.S. Senate. For it to go into effect it must be ratified by nations producing at least 55 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Just this week Japan ratified the treaty but European nations, Russia and Canada still have not ratified it. There is no enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance of the nations that sign the treaty.

Howard’s government in Australia has said it favors a voluntary emissions reduction plan much like the one the Bush Administration has proposed in the United States.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See “Questions and Answers on Global Warming” at or “Global Warming: Charges and Responses” at

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