Green Party in England & Wales
Asia-Pacific Partnership of "environmental villains" deemed unjust
The first ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership has opened
in Sydney today. This alliance comprising the US, Australia, China, India
and South Korea promises economic growth with low carbon emissions by
investing in so-called "new, clean technologies" and nuclear energy.
Principal Speaker Keith Taylor comments: "The alliance's determination to
avoid signing up to binding targets and timetables is evidence that the
Partnership refuses to back up its rhetoric with substance, and is unlikely
to make any significant progress on this urgent issue.
"While the Green Party welcomes the opening of a dialogue with developing
countries on the issue of climate change, we have serious concerns that the
Asia-Pacific Partnership will prove to be a false friend by actively
undermining the Kyoto Treaty.
"By refusing to sign up to the Kyoto Treaty, the US and Australia have
come into major conflict with the global climate change lobby as it
continues to gain momentum at this crucial time. The Asia-Pacific
Partnership is an attempt to combat their image as the villains of
responsibility while protecting their economic interests.
"Prioritising economic growth is detrimental to the effective tackling of
increasing carbon emissions - it places the onus on profit, and fails to
recognise public and corporate responsibility to reduce energy consumption
and carbon emissions.
"The focus on new technologies as quick-fixes diverts investment from
existing clean energy generation technologies including wind and solar
power. The inclusion of nuclear energy is also deeply disturbing as it
hints at a widespread increase in nuclear power stations, a highly dangerous
and costly form of energy generation.
"Greens have long called for universal adoption of the Contraction &
Convergence model, the science based framework developed by the Global
Commons Institute. This involves contracting global carbon emissions to a
safe level, while ensuring that rich and poor countries gradually converge
at a fair level of per capita carbon emissions.
"C & C allows developing countries to continue their industrial development
to raise living standards while compelling developed countries such as the
US and Australia to recognise that they have a greater responsibility to
reduce carbon emissions and by a greater extent than developing countries.
"The Asia-Pacific Partnership as it stands is an unjust partnership. The US
and Australia are relying on their links with developing countries to give
them a positive public image and distract public attention from their
failure to sign up to real and binding commitments to tackle climate