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China exposes Rudd's 25% climate fig leaf

Prime Minister Rudd's attempt to green-wash his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme with a 25% conditional target has been exposed as disingenuous by China's top negotiator, Su Wei, Australian Greens Deputy Leader Christine Milne said today.

When Prime Minster Rudd announced his climate back-down to the coal industry earlier this month with a delay in the start date by one year, a $1.1b increase in compensation for big polluters, and a fixed $10 carbon price in the first year, he tried to cover it with a highly conditional promise of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas below 2000 levels by 2020.

"It was in complete breach of the Kyoto Protocol and all negations since - seriously undermining his first act as Prime Minister, which was to sign Kyoto with great fanfare."

"The bargain of Kyoto was that developed countries accept and meet mandatory reduction targets before developing countries took on mandatory targets."

"By making Australia's target 25% conditional upon developing countries accepting a mandatory target of 20% below business-as-usual, Mr Rudd knew full well he was putting up conditions that would never be agreed."

"As Sue Wei has indicated today, Australia going against the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol and the subsequent Bali roadmap, will see increased anger and frustration in developing countries and undermine the prospects of a global agreement."

"Kevin Rudd was happy to get the accolades in Bali by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, but is clearly not happy to take the responsibilities, and do the heavy lifting, that his signature implied."

Senator Milne said the rest of the world would see straight through what Australia was doing.

"Why should China accept climate demands by Australia, when Australia remains one of the highest per-capita emitters in the world?"

"Why will the European Union accept that developed countries cut their emissions by 40% in aggregate, but that Australia should not take its fair share of that cut because Mr Rudd wants to protect the polluting coal industry?"

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