Australia defends climate stance

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello has said there is “no point” in Australia signing the Kyoto Protocol on climate change unless China and India do too.

Australia, like the US, has refused to ratify the Kyoto agreement, but is set to face increasing pressure to do so in the light of a new hard-hitting study.

A report by former World Bank economist Nicholas Stern warned of severe problems if global warming was ignored.

If there was no action now, he said, the world would face a huge depression.

The UN has also just released new data showing that rich countries have made little overall progress in reducing the production of gases blamed for global warming.

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