From the department of step one:
Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in his first act after being sworn in this morning.It's a good start. Ratifying Kyoto is really only a symbolic step. I'll be happier when they actually do something, like pass legislation that severely curtails coal-fired electricity, subsidises green power, closes coal mines, increases tax on petrol... you know, the stuff that actually works (and hurts).
The ratification will come into force in 90 days.
"This is the first official act of the new Australian Government, demonstrating my Government's commitment to tackling climate change," Mr Rudd said in a statement.
Mr Rudd said the ratification was considered and approved by the first executive council meeting of the Government this morning.
"The Governor-General has granted his approval for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol at my request," he said.
Under United Nations guidelines, ratification comes into force 90 days after the instrument of ratification is received by the UN, making Australia a full member of the Kyoto Protocol by the end of March 2008.
"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," Mr Rudd said.