Amidst the APEC spin, slim chance of real climate action

It’s increasingly clear that APEC will not only fail to deliver any real climate change solutions but will potentially undermine global progress and support dangerous and polluting technologies.

Over the past 24 hours we’re seeing increasing friction emerging between Australia and Kyoto signatories, particularly developing countries, with concerns that aspirational targets, or even energy intensity targets undermine and cut across Kyoto.

Climate officials are meeting today and tomorrow to discuss detail of the APEC declaration. Mixed messages are coming from the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. While the PM is `amending ambitions’ on progressing climate change, the Foreign Minister last night described the meeting as ‘historic’.

Climate change is well and truly on the APEC agenda, however the real threat is that it delivers nothing but a boost for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. This threat looks set to emerge later this week with Australia and Russia on the brink of a deal which would see Australia export uranium to Russia.

The uranium deal flies in the face of Australian public opinion, as revealed in a new poll released today that shows 66% of Australians oppose uranium exports to Russia.

Instead of boosting the coal and nuclear industries, Prime Minister Howard should support real climate solutions: the Kyoto Protocol and its binding emissions targets, and strong renewable energy and energy efficiency targets. Anything else is a dangerous distraction from what is required.