As Prime Minister Kevin Rudd arrives in Copenhagen the leaders of the Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC), comprising union, welfare, environment and research groups, has urged him to take decisive action to help haul the negotiations back on track.

“The Prime Minister is a key player in climate discussions among world leaders and Australia has been playing a significant role in the Copenhagen negotiations, but it is now time for decisive steps,” said Don Henry, Executive Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“The talks are now in danger because of serious differences about whether the Kyoto Protocol should continue or not. This deadlock can be broken by supporting a new commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol alongside a comprehensive global treaty,” said the Climate Institute’s John Connor.

 “Australia can give an urgent boost to these negotiations by the Prime Minister putting forward solutions on three key issues that are undermining progress here in Copenhagen.”

  • To bring developed and developing countries together Australia should accept an extension to the Kyoto Protocol with our target set at 25 percent reductions on 1990 levels by 2020.
  • To complement Kyoto and to ensure the job gets done, Australia should support a six month deadline to finalise a legally binding global treaty that includes fair commitments from the USA, China and other major polluters.
  • Australia should support a carbon price on emissions from international shipping and aviation to contribute to funds in the order of $160 billion per year by 2020 to help poor countries deal with climate change.
  • “Developed and developing countries need to do more at these negotiations.  Prime Minister Rudd has played and can continue to play a key role to build the ambition of greenhouse reduction targets and momentum for a serious outcome from Copenhagen,” said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.