Sunday, 16 December 2007

Bali's over

"No one got all they wanted, but everyone came away with something" is a theme of most media reports following the conclusion of the Bali conference to initiate some type of post-Kyoto emissions reduction plan.

Reporters are frequently highlighting Australia's potential pivotal role, but my favorite is from this BBC report.

Halfway through the year, the Australian government will hear back from its hastily-assembled expert committee on what it should commit to.

Though arriving at the Bali meeting bearing papers ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, incoming Prime Minister Kevin Rudd disappointed some observers by refusing to back firm targets.

The committee's report and the government's response to it will decide if Australia re-enters the Kyoto camp with the zeal of a reformed smoker or the reluctance of a cat forced to bathe.

Many eyes are on Australia, and they should be.

The coming decisions to be made under the Rudd administration, amplified by the action or inaction that follows, could significantly contribute to the fate of billions. Australia seems set to tip the balance toward [or away from] the more aggressive emission reduction targets advocated by the EU and many scientific bodies within Australia and around the world. Australia could even influence the US election by either siding with the Bush administration [stall, little tangible action, etc.] or alongside other, more environmentally aggressive American policy bodies such as Schwarzenegger / California as well as other US States and candidates so aligned.

All to be revealed in the fullness of time.

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