The Government’s position was explained in a speech given by the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, in the lead up to the Kyoto Conference in 1997, in which he stated:
A significant proportion of the Australian economy is currently geared toward the production of emission intensive products. As a result, the abatement costs in Australia are likely to be larger than in other countries that have lower reliance on emission intensive outputs. 84
After discussing the importance of emission intensive industries in the Australian economy and Australia’s linkages with rapidly developing economies in Asia, the Minister said the “only target that Australia could agree to at Kyoto would be one that allowed reasonable growth in our greenhouse emissions”.
- Downer Australia and Climate Change, Address by The Hon Alexander Downer, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the ‘Global Emissions Agreements and Australian Business Seminar’, Melbourne, 7 July 1997 (Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra: 1997).
Macintosh, A. (2008) Domestic Influences on the Howard Government’s Climate Policy: Using the Past as a Guide to the Future. 11 Asia Pac. J. Envtl. L. 51 Page 68-9