UN Chief applauds Australia’s readiness to join a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period

9 November, 2012 – Australia will sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol on the condition that developed and developing countries work toward a new global climate change agreement by 2015, Australia’s Climate Change Minister Greg Combet announced.

“Australia is taking this position to the UN Conference at Doha in a very clear context,” Combet said in a speech to the Australian Carbon Expo in Melbourne. Combet added that Australia’s commitment to the second Kyoto period was based on the understanding that developing and developed countries alike would work toward the new agreement.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that sets binding targets for industrialized countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As the first commitment period expires at the end of 2012, the details for a second commitment to the Protocol will be a focus of negotiations at the Doha Climate Conference  later this month.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the announcement of the Australian Government to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and congratulated Prime Minister Gillard for her leadership.

Through his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said that addressing climate change is fundamental for achieving sustainable development and all governments should take decisive steps against climate change at the upcoming Climate Change Conference, in Doha.

Joining a second commitment period will ensure Australian businesses have access to international credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, helping Australia reduce emissions at the lowest cost to the economy. Australia joins 36 other countries in planning to take on a Kyoto target to restrain emissions between 2013 and 2020.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Climate Change Convention, via Twitter, welcomed the announcement and said it would be good for Australia’s economy as well as the upcoming Climate Change Conference