Mon, 12 Jul 2004

Kyoto Protocol back on the boil?

The recent signing by Indonesia of the Kyoto Protocol is an important step forward in exploring new concepts of how the world's energy options can be better managed.

An excellent grasp of the formula involved in proceeding with the Kyoto Protocol was summed up clearly and objectively in your editorial of July 1.

There are valid reasons for supporting investment in new alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuels. Stuart E. Eizenstat, the chief American negotiator for the Clinton administration at the 1997 Kyoto Conference, wrote in the New York Times on July 6: "Waiting to address global warming would be a reckless gamble. If present trends continue, green house gas concentrations -- during the lifetimes of children born today -- will reach levels higher than in the last 50 million years".

Of the 154 signatories at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, many are still procrastinating, some have adopted a strangely non- characteristic, non-laissez-faire position, and yet now with Indonesia's signing the opportunity to move to a new, progressive stage is tantalizingly close.

Current history, with its geopolitical energy issues, would also suggest the Kyoto Protocol is back on the boil. Chevron- Texaco is to be congratulated for its investment in a new generation of geothermal energy in Indonesia, and for the development of technologies that can allow the economical production of cleaner, cheaper, safer energy.