BRUSSELS, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission expressed here on Tuesday its warm appreciation of Australia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
"Australia has taken a very important step which I cannot welcome strongly enough," said Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for Environment.
"Their ratification reconfirms the Kyoto Protocol's significance as the starting point on the road to controlling climate change," he said, urging for "more ambitious action after 2012, when Kyoto's first commitment period expires."
The ratification of the protocol by the new Australian government, led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, was announced during the opening plenary session of the Bali UN climate change conference.
Once submitted to the UN secretariat, ratification becomes effective in 90 days.
Rudd signed the ratification instrument as his first step in office towards the fight against climate change. The previous Australian government had declined to ratify the protocol.