Climate change - John Merson

Climate change and Australia's paradoxical position on the Kyoto protocol

Speaker: Dr John Merson

Dr Merson is the Executive Director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and the Co-ordinator of the research program in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of New South Wales.

This seminar will address the continued refusal of the present Australian government to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol, and the potentially high economic and environmental costs of not doing so.

Dr Merson will address the recent agreement of Russia to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Climate Change Convention, which will mean that the Kyoto agreement to limit CO2 emissions will go ahead with the signatory nations now ratifying the convention - further isolating Australia and the US amongst the world's developed states. Australia's obstinate or recalcitrant position on Kyoto - that we cannot afford the economic consequences of restrictions to our use of fossil fuels, and the corresponding limitations on the release of CO2 - is truly a paradox, given that Australia is likely to be one of the countries most seriously effected by climate change.

Dr Merson's academic research has been in the social sciences and more specifically focusing on technological innovation, sustainable development and environmental policy. He has been a member of a number of the Commonwealth government's regional committees, including the Australia/Korea Forum (1989-1991) and the Australia/Indonesia steering committee on Science and Technology (1992-1995). He has also represented Australia on a number of APEC research projects, including the Cross Cultural Technology Transfer project co-ordinated by Japan (1995-97), and as a member of the APEC Economic Committee's research group (co-ordinated by Canada) reporting on 'the impact of rapid economic and population growth on food security, energy and the environment' - a report was prepared for the Vancouver APEC ministerial meeting in 1997. He has also been a consultant to a number of government agencies and industry groups on environmental and technological issues. These have included the Malaysian government (1992), Price Waterhouse & Australia Abroad Council at DEFAT (1994), Transfield Holdings (1995) APEC Study Centre (1997), UNESCO-Barcelona (1999), World Resource Institute, Washington (2001), IUCN (2004) He is the author of five books and numerous papers on issues of environment and development.

Date: Tuesday 15 February 2005

Time: 7.30 am Breakfast Seminar, commencing promptly at 8am and finishing promptly at 9am.

Venue: Mayfair Room, Vibes Hotel, 111 Goulburn Street Sydney, opposite the Goulburn Street parking Station and a short stroll from Central and Museum train stations.

Cost: $25, includes breakfast ($15 special rate for Evatt foundation members)

RSVP: Monday 14 February EVATT FOUNDATION, UNIVERSITY OF NSW 2022: 93857137 Email evatt@unsw.edu.au