Wong must take firm reduction figures to world climate conference
Lenore Taylor, National correspondent | May 21, 2009
THE success of international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December hinges on developed nations such as Australia turning up with legislated emission reduction targets.
Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard said this as the Rudd Government prepared for crucial Senate negotiations over its emissions trading plans.
“It is very important that Australia gets its position ready, that is legislated, so the Australian government can argue this is actually what Australia will deliver at the negotiating table in Copenhagen,” said Ms Hedegaard, a minister in the Danish Liberal-conservative government.
As environment minister of the nation hosting the crucial United Nations conference to finalise an international emission reduction agreement to take over from the Kyoto Protocol, Ms Hedegaard has been touring the world trying to build momentum for a successful agreement.
“Right now there is such a game going on, where everybody tends to be waiting for everybody else to make the next move, and we have to break that by some countries coming forward and saying OK we can deliver this,” Ms Hedegaard said.
Ms Hedegaard has met Climate Minister Senator Penny Wong and is scheduled to meet Coalition emissions trading spokesman Andrew Robb and climate spokesman Greg Hunt, whose party is likely to determine the fate of the Government’s revised emissions trading plan in the Senate next month.
But her comments were focused on the need for Australia to have a clear and agreed position on emission reduction targets of at least the 25 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020 — as the Government is now proposing — rather than the exact mechanism Australia proposed to use to get there. “What matters is Australia is ready to deliver (on the target). What that takes domestically is up to Australia,” she said.