An Australian environment expert today labelled the White House-sponsored climate change conference a failure, saying that the United States needed to do much more to end the proliferation of greenhouse gas emissions.
Don Henry, executive director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, was quoted by news.com.au as saying that Australia needed to stop copying the US position on climate change immediately.
Henry said that U.S.President George W. Bush was not delivering on setting binding targets or commitments on greenhouse gas emissions.
"The US is the world's biggest climate laggard and are holding up global action on climate change," Henry said, adding that Bush's climate change policies were "disastrous" and Australia had to "disconnect" itself from them.
"At the conference every developed country has taken on board binding targets and every developing country has committed to cleaning up their economy and set long-term aspirational goals. The only two that have not are Australia and the US who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and stand out like sore thumbs," he said.
The conference in Washington ended today and involved major economies responsible for four-fifths of the world's greenhouse-gas pollution. The countries will hold further meetings next year that would explore solutions to the global warming crisis.
The two-day event gathered Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United States. They were represented at ministerial level or below.