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World Climate Change Accords – New Stage …

  • April 25th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

berlaymont-resize-1504.jpgThe Australian Minister, Greg Combet, is one of 17 national representatives this week attending the latest round, in the world talks on climate change, at Brussels (26-27.4.11).


hedegaard-connie.jpgA statement from the European Commission said the ministerial meeting of the Major Economies Forum on energy and climate (MEF) would be co-chaired by the Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard (picture), and US Deputy National Security Adviser for international economic affairs, Michael Froman.

It said:

“The MEF, set up by US President Obama to facilitate dialogue on climate change policy between key developed and developing countries, brings together ministers from 17 of the world’s major economies which are collectively responsible for some 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a number of observer countries.

“The Brussels meeting, the first MEF session since last December’s climate conference in Cancún … will cover implementation of the Cancún Agreements, climate finance, the legal form of a future global climate framework, the Kyoto Protocol and goals for the next UN climate conference, to be held in Durban, South Africa at the end of this year.”

The MEF was formed in March 2009, to work towards getting concrete initiatives, and joint ventures to increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions; under terms set up at the Cancun, and later Copenhagen summits, which sketched out lines of future accord without getting to hard details.

The 17 major economies participating are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Denmark is represented, as President of the December 2009 Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ‘’ along with the United Nations itself.


combet-greg.jpgGreg Combet (picture), the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, is battling to hold the line in support of the Australian carbon tax proposal – a plan for a temporary tax on carbon-producing industries, while a carbon price is established, and then an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The tax is being opposed by a set of interests including industry groups wanting compensation; they are looking to force the extension of a rebates program planned initially for lower to middle income households which would have costs passed on to them.

The EU does not have the same minerals and energy mining lobbies to contend with as the governments of Australia and the United States, and has pushed on with its own ETS.

It has been able to report material progress towards its goal of a 20% reduction in carbon pollution buy 2020, but still has its problems.

The scheme was suspended  in January because of  criminal activity, a raid on credits by cyber thieves.

Parts of the system were restored in March as new security systems were being developed.

See EUAustralia Online, “Carbon Trading – Steps Backward And Forward”, 1.3.11.


European Commission, Brussels, “Commissioner Hedegaard to co-host meeting of Major Economies Forum”, EXME 11 / 20.04, 20.4.11., (25.4.11).

Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), Washington, (home)., (25.4.11).

Pictures   eu, safedom