Australia joins Europe and a handful of other nations engaged in the second phase of Kyoto Protocol, aimed at global emissions reduction. New Zealand, on the contrary, leaves the scheme and becomes a part of a separate convention, including larger greenhouse gas emitters such as the US and China.
"Joining a second commitment period will ensure Australian businesses have access to international credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, helping Australia reduce emissions at the lowest cost to the economy," said Australia's Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
The world's sixth largest country is responsible for around 1.5 percent of global emissions. Due to reliance on burning coal for electricity, it does however produce the most emissions per person within the developed world.
Australia's 2020 target is to cut emissions, which are to be blamed for global warming, by five percent of year 200 levels. Under the first phase of the Kyoto agreement, the country has limited carbon emissions to 108 percent of 1990 levels.
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