Australia Says It's `Flexible' on Fate of Kyoto Accord at UN Climate Talks

Australia said it’s “flexible” on the fate of the Kyoto Protocol limiting greenhouse gas emissions, though it’s pushing for a new treaty that would bind all major polluters to make reductions.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said such a new treaty should include the U.S., China and “all major emitters.” The next treaty should build on the Copenhagen Accord agreed last year and not the 1997 Kyoto pact, which doesn’t require developing nations to make cuts, he said.

“It’s pretty obvious that we should be building on something that captures the bulk of the world’s emissions and builds on that and doesn’t commit us to something that’s a much more limited focus,” Combet said in Cancun, Mexico, at a United Nations global warming conference.

Asked whether the two tracks of the negotiation -- one involving Kyoto and the other a new treaty -- were ever apt to become a single path in the talks, he said, “That’s what the parties are working on as we speak.”

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