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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Expansion of Australian Territorial Waters = Greater Demand for Adaptation

Australia has reached an agreement with the United Nations that has resulted in an expansion of Australia's territorial waters by approximately 2.5 million square kilometres. This gives Australia legal rights to a potentially massive pool of oil, gas and mineral resources, and will likely accelerate the exploration, extraction and, ultimately, combustion of those resources.

While the developed world is quick to point to the nations of India and China as the major engines of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, one should note that the fuel that keeps the engine going often lies elsewhere. This reality appeared lost on Australia this week, which seemed positively giddy about the new found bonanza without seeing windfall from a climate change context (despite assurances that the new government will be Australia's first to 'get serious' about climate change.

The upshot of all this is that the juggernaut of greenhouse house gas emissions is alive and well, which means all the more reason to think strategically about adaptation.

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