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Australians rally for the planet

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It's all over the news- Australians are not happy with their government's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by just 5%. Many have spent the last few days protesting that the decision is too little, too late . Some are even saying they will move to Europe, where the major nations are committed to cutting emissions by 20% by 2020.

The New York Times reports that Australia's actual emissions cut depends on whether other nations commit to their own reductions. For example, if major emitters like China and India promise significant cuts , Australians might reduce their greenhouse gases emission by up to 15%. The decision infuriated environmentalists who called it a global embarrassment for Australia.

Recent analysis by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change argued that developed countries should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 25 to 40 percent by 2010. Australia is a developed country.

But so is the U.S. Here, we produce more emissions, both in, absolute terms and per capita, than any other country in the world, but our leaders of this country have refused to sign the Kyoto agreement to limit emissions causing global warming . So, while I am reading the news from Australia and cheering for the protesters, I can't help but hope for an aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction program here in the U.S.