On his very first official day in office today, new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol, committing his country to deep emissions cuts and putting ever more peer pressure on the United States — the only industrialized nation still holding out on Kyoto ratification. Full official ratification for Australia is still 90 days away since the U.N. has to do its bureaucratic waiting thing, but Australia has done its part to commit to emissions reductions under the treaty. “Australia’s official declaration today that we will become a member of the Kyoto Protocol is a significant step forward in our country’s efforts to fight climate change domestically and with the international community,” Rudd said. Today is also the start of the U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, where the nations of the world hope to hammer out a successor to the Kyoto treaty which expires in 2012.
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