Kyoto alternative kicks off in Australia

11 January 2006

The six nation Asia-Pacific Clean Development and Climate Partnership has launched a two-day conference in Sydney, Australia, aimed at delivering technology-based solutions to climate change.

The controversial forum, which is seen by many as undermining the Kyoto Protocol, will see ministers from Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the USA meeting executives from major energy companies including Exxon Mobil, Rio Tinto and Peabody Energy.

The conference has attracted protests as two of the participants, Australia and the USA, are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases but have refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol with its enforceable emissions limits, instead preferring voluntary emissions limits measures as set out in the so-called AP6 alliance agreement. The AP6 initiative is designed to accelerate the development and use of cleaner, more efficient technology with collaboration on a number of areas, including energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and nuclear power, with longer-term development of next-generation fission and fusion reactors.

Ahead of the meeting, US energy secretary Sam Bodman expressed support for the contribution of nuclear power, saying that the world community "must seriously consider using nuclear power if it is to make any serious inroads into greenhouse gas emissions.” He added: "Nuclear power, it seems to me, is an obvious requirement."

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