The sustainable development think tank points to the Australian Government’s interest in a provision in the Kyoto Protocol that may allow countries to count the effects of farming practices in reducing greenhouse gas emissions towards Kyoto commitments.
Under the protocol, Australia must limit growth in emissions to eight percent by 2008-2012.
The Australia Institute is concerned that the Australian Government will be pushing for acceptance of this ‘loophole’ at meeting to be held in Perth next week. Several foreign environment ministers will be attending.
“International best estimates now indicate that if the loophole is exploited to the maximum it would completely absolve industrialised countries of any need to reduce the growth of emissions from fossil fuels,” says Australia Institute director Clive Hamilton. “Instead of investing in renewable energy, electricity generators … will be paying farmers … to change their land management practices. The whole point of the Kyoto Protocol would be defeated.”

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