Ratifying Kyoto Protocol takes time: law expert
Posted 2 hours 21 minutes ago
An international law expert has cast doubt on whether the newly elected Federal Government will be able to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in the short term.
Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd has nominated ratifying the treaty quickly as one of his top priorities.
But Professor Donald Rothwell from the Australian National University says the normal ratification is a lengthy process requiring a National Impact Analysis, a parliamentary inquiry and development of new laws to support the treaty.
He says even if this is cut short, the treaty cannot be ratified quickly because of the need for new laws.
"Indeed, even under the Howard Government, there were exceptions that were permitted for emergency treaties," he said.
"Ultimately however the Kyoto Protocol will require that new Australian law to give effect to the Kyoto Protocol in Australian law and that ultimately requires an act of Parliament."
Professor Rothwell says there is still a point to signing the protocol even if the climate change conference in Bali next month reaches a new agreement.
"Bali is really seeking to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto Protocol which would see a new climate change instrument kick in from 2013," he said.
"If Australia ratifies Kyoto it will be expected to meet its Kyoto obligations between the period of 2008 and 2012 and to that end, having law in place to give effect to Kyoto will be quite important."