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''Taking action brings real savings and other benefits to consumers and businesses while preventing dangerous climate change,'' said the activist.

Mr Verolme also urged the public to keep a close watch on the IPCC's report on climate change mitigation measures, which will be launched today, saying that it might contain unreasonable ones.

Among these was the price scheme of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which might prevent investors from joining the scheme.

The CDM is a pact designed to help industrialised countries reach their targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by investing in clean technology in developing countries in exchange for carbon credits.

Around 400 scientists and government officials from 120 countries are taking part in a four-day meeting in Bangkok to consider a draft report for policymakers on mitigating climate change.

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The New Yorks Times: The Aussie ?Big Dry?

May 4, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

SYDNEY, Australia

Almost everywhere you travel these days, people are talking about their weather ? and how it has changed. Nowhere have I found this more true, though, than in Australia, where ?the big dry,? a six-year record drought, has parched the Aussie breadbasket so severely that on April 19, Prime Minister John Howard actually asked the whole country to pray for rain. ?I told people you have to pray for rain,? Mr. Howard remarked to me, adding, ?I said it without a hint of irony.?

And here?s what?s really funny: It actually started to rain! But not enough, which is one reason Australia is about to have its first election in which climate change will be a top issue. In just 12 months, climate change has gone from being a nonissue here to being one that could tip the vote.

In the process, Prime Minister John Howard, a conservative now in his 11th year in office, has moved from being a climate skeptic to what he calls a ?climate realist,? who knows that he must offer programs to reduce global-warming greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, but wants to do it without economic pain or imposed targets, like Kyoto?s. He is proposing emissions trading and nuclear power.

The Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, proposes a hard target ? a 60 percent reduction in Australian CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050 ? and subsidies for Aussies to retrofit their homes with energy-saving systems. The whole issue has come from the bottom up, and it has come on so quickly that neither party can be sure it has its finger on the public?s pulse.

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