David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: The Australian Government ratifies the Kyoto Protocol and the City of Melbourne contributes to achieving its requirements.


DESCRIPTION: The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement between nation states aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the harm caused by them. The Protocol comes into effect when at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions ratify the Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol got its name from the beautiful Japanese City of Kyoto, where the initial document was negotiated. Meetings to discuss progress on matter related to the Kyoto Protocol are called conferences of the parties (COP), and regularly heighten expectation that more countries will ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately to date, despite being the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases, Australia has failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

I seconded and spoke to the following motion at the Australian Local Government Association Annual General meeting In Alice Springs in December 2002.

Resolution 20 Moved: Manly Council , NSW
That the National General Assembly of Local Government express its deep concerns to the Federal Government and the Shadow Minister for the Environment regarding the United States and the Australian Government's intention not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Further, as a significant proportion of Local Governments nationally are part of the Cities for Climate Protection programme, our concerns should also be conveyed to the Cities for Climate Protection- Australia (part of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. :

I wrote and moved the following Notice of Motion:

Melbourne City Council calls on the Federal Government to maintain support for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

Moved: David Risstrom

BACKGROUND: In a statement adopted by the Plenary Assembly of the World Congress of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) and the World Federation of Municipal Authorities (FMCU) in Rio de Janeiro on 10 May 2001, over 1100 representatives from 85 countries appealed to their governments to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is the international agreement that seeks to avert human induced global climate change.

The resolution was initiated by the International Climate Alliance, an alliance of almost 1000 local authorities in Western Europe, who are concerned about the effects of the global greenhouse gas emissions on society and especially on the position of indigenous peoples in rainforest areas. The initiative was soon supported by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and various members of the IULA. The World Assembly of Cities and Local Authorities (WACLAC), the international umbrella organisation followed by adopting and endorsing the statement.

The Statement, known as article 7 of the 2001 IULA/FMCU World Congress was adopted by the General Assembly on May 6: Local Governments' work should aim to increase people's capacities and choices through the development of social capital as a way to ensure the well being of the present generation without jeopardising that of the future generations.

Sustainable development calls for an integrated approach linking environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects. Local government should develop partnerships within the framework of environmentally-friendly policies and universal access to all services. All local governments committed to achieve reductions of greenhouse gas emissions should appeal to their national governments to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

I have produced this Notice of Motion in accordance with this statement.

FURTHER INFORMATION: I met with the Mayor of Kyoto in Johannesburg, during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Mayor of Kyoto also met with the Mayor of Melbourne, providing him with a letter to hand to Australian Prime Minister John Howard, seeking ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately, the Australian Government's position remains unchanged.


Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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