Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald on June 8, 2006

In the last minutes of the 1997 Kyoto conference on climate change, Australia extracted a vital concession by insisting that countries be allowed to include emissions from land clearing in their greenhouse accounting. The Government knew that land clearing had declined sharply since the accepted base year of 1990, so even before the ink was dry, Australia’s emissions had fallen by 5 to 10 per cent. The shift of government research funding from renewables to geosequestration and the recent interest in nuclear power suggest that the Government’s strategy is to actively delay any moves to temper the growth of Australia’s emission’s for 20 years or more.

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