McCain to Australia: promise of leadership on climate change

AP

CANBERRA, Australia: Republican presidential candidate John McCain told Australians Tuesday the United States will provide global leadership in the fight against climate change if he wins the November election.

In a column published in The Australian national newspaper, McCain affirmed America’s longtime alliance with Australia and also promised leadership on global trade liberalization, greater U.S. engagement with Asia as well as more action against weapons proliferation.

He said the United States under his administration would join international efforts to achieve a new agreement in Copenhagen next year on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Australians have looked to the U.S. for leadership on climate change and it is time for us to answer that call,” McCain wrote in the article submitted at the newspaper’s invitation.

“I support a market-based cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing carbon emissions, and I will work with Australia and other nations to establish a global framework that encourages China and India to join us in becoming part of the solution to man-made climate change,” he added.

Australia and the United States were the only industrialized countries to refuse to adopt carbon emission reduction targets set by the United Nations at a climate conference in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd immediately ratified the Kyoto Protocol after his center-left Labor Party swept to power at elections in November 2007 and has promised to introduce by 2010 a market-based cap-and-trade system to set a limit on carbon emssions Australia can produce.

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