Labor climate change spokesman Peter Garrett says Mr Howard is missing the point.
"Cherry picking the individual progress of countries does not in any way take away from the urgent necessity for Australia to set emissions targets itself, and nor to recognise that that is what the EU’s intention is," Mr Garrett said.
"It’s made it clear on the basis of the targets that it’s set to 2020."
Mr Howard says Australia is on track to meet its own Kyoto targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He says the Government did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol because it would have disadvantaged Australian industry.
"We would have assumed obligations which countries against which Australia competes, such as China and Indonesia, would not have assumed," he said.
"That would have put our industries at a competitive disadvantage."
Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd says the Government should ratify the Kyoto Protocol to ensure Australia is involved in international talks on climate change in the future.
Mr Rudd says ratifying the protocol will make sure Australia is involved in discussions about climate change talks beyond 2012.
"That will critically influence the way in which coal and carbon-based fuels are traded in the future," he said.
"We need to be at that negotiating table and the way to be at that negotiating table is to ratify Kyoto."