The newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has pledged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which the former Prime Minister, John Howard, had rejected. Climate change was a significant issue in the election, and Howard had attempted to develop late climate change policy and legislation, but could not turn the tide and lost the election.
Rudd announced that he would attend the upcoming UN climate change talks iin Bali this December, which Howard had not planned to attend. Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, welcomed this announcedment as a “very important factor” in the next stage of global climate talks.
With Australia joining the Kyoto Protocol, President George Bush may feel even more isolation among the developed countries on climate change issues and the need for a post Kyoto Protocol treaty with limits on greenhouse gas emissions. How this may ultimately affect international negotiations remains to be seen.