Australia's commitment to the 2nd phase of the Kyoto Protocol will mean Australia maintains its role at the forefront of the global fight against climate change and positions Australia to take advantage of the jobs created by a global shift to low-carbon economies.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said that the Government's decision would send a strong message about Australia's commitment, encouraging investment in renewable energy and creating new jobs for Australian workers.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today announced that Australia would join the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol as part of its commitment to a global solution to climate change.
The second phase of the Kyoto Protocol is a crucial preliminary step to a broader agreement on reducing global carbon emissions, due to be completed by 2015. This agreement will include developing nations such as India and China and will take effect from 2020.
"The global economy is switching to a low carbon future, and $980 billion has been invested globally in low carbon and clean energy technologies and infrastructure," Ms Kearney said.
"We need to ensure that our industries stay competitive in the global low-carbon economy so Australians can benefit from the jobs created.
"Australia is not acting alone in reducing its carbon emissions, being involved in global efforts to combat climate change is the best way we can make sure we are not left behind.
"We will now have a say in negotiations driving the global effort to cut carbon emissions.
"Despite the scare campaigns about the introduction of a price on carbon, we have not seen job losses.
"Instead we are seeing investment in renewable energy and green technologies which will continue to create new jobs into the future."
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