Post-Kyoto regime should impose binding commitments on all: Rudd


KYOTO — On his first visit to Japan since taking office last year, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called Monday for an ambitious post-Kyoto Protocol in which both developed and developing countries adopt binding commitments.

“Japan was ambitious in developing the Kyoto Protocol. We all need to be ambitious for the post-2012 climate regime, and want to see an effective future global framework that reflects actions by all key countries, in binding international commitments which are consistent with our global agreement on common but differentiated responsibilities,” Rudd said at Kyoto University.

Rudd, who will attend the Group of Eight summit in Hokkaido next month, said it is important that the summit’s outcome creates international momentum for reaching agreement by December 2009, when the world gathers in Copenhagen to hammer out a new climate treaty.

A major roadblock is binding targets, which many nations oppose. But Rudd said they are crucial.

“All nations of the world need to play their part and make nationally binding commitments to do this,” he said.

Rudd, who spent the morning in Hiroshima, will meet Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in Tokyo later this week. In addition to a proposed climate change treaty on which Japan and Australia largely agree, Fukuda and Rudd are also expected to broach the extremely contentious issue of whaling in the Australian Antarctic Territory, which Japan does not recognize as a sanctuary.

Rudd is also pushing a new framework of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We currently have a number of institutions in Asia, but the region needs an organization which enables regional political, economic and security dialogue cooperation and, where agreed, common action,” Rudd said, adding he does not envision a carbon copy of the European Union model and he is not calling for a common currency or common security pact.