CANBERRA, Australia -- New Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in his first official act Monday, ratified the Kyoto Protocol on environmental climate change.
The ratification demonstrated his government's "commitment to tackling climate change," Rudd told reporters after meeting with the country's Executive Council.
The move binds the country to emissions of no more than 108 percent compared with 1990 levels, The Australian newspaper reported.
The announcement came as United Nations forums on climate change began a two-week conference in Bali to create an agenda for dealing with climate change after 2012.
Under previous Prime Minister John Howard, Australia signed the protocol in 1997 but never adopted it into law, the newspaper said.
A total of 175 nations have ratified the Kyoto agreement, with the most recent significant one, Russia, signing on in February 2005.
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