AUSTRALIA'S chief climate change negotiator says a dramatic shift from the design of the Kyoto Protocol could be the best way to reach an international climate change agreement.

Louise Hand told the Herald yesterday that the ''world is very different'' from when the Kyoto Protocol was reached in 1997, allocating binding carbon emissions cuts to developed countries.

Australia is pushing what is known as a ''schedules approach'' in which countries nominate their emissions targets and reduction policies such as emissions trading. Countries would then be expected to report on their progress towards those targets.

Ms Hand said the schedules approach could be the best way to entice developing countries to adopt carbon mitigation methods in an international agreement to be negotiated in climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

Australia has made two official submissions to United Nations talks on the design of an international agreement backing the schedules model.

Australia went as far as to hold a summit before international climate talks in Germany last week to promote the scheme.

But the director of policy at the Climate Institute, Erwin Jackson, said yesterday the schedules approach, while having merit, had found few friends among big developing nations that wanted a Kyoto-style deal in which rich nations took on hard emissions reduction targets.

He said despite differences on the design of an agreement, the biggest obstacle in Copenhagen would be the developed world's reluctance to embrace a range of international financing measures to help poorer nations reduce their emissions.


Issued by:  The Sydney Morning Herald

Author: Tom Arup, Environment Correspondent


Issue date: August 21, 2009

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