Guys, Im the last to back down on something but im becoming increasingly frustrated with the performance of our Prime Minister Howard and his party. He just seems to be going against common sence on every issue and this one is very concerning. Kyoto pact is useless and harmful: PM 17:51 AEDT Wed Feb 16 2005 Prime Minister John Howard has labelled the Kyoto Protocol useless and harmful as environmentalists rallied across the country to protest Australia's refusal to sign the landmark pact. Labor attempted a political stunt to force the government to immediately ratify the international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions, but Mr Howard maintained it would cost Australian jobs. A total of 141 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to get the industrial world to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 per cent by 2012, with targets set according to each country's pollution level. Australia and the United States are the only developed nations not to have signed. Mr Howard said it was not in Australia's interest to sign the Kyoto Protocol because major polluters including China, India and Indonesia would not be subject to the same penalties and restrictions Australia would face. That would jeopardise Australian jobs and industry, he said. "Until such time as the major polluters of the world, including the United States and China, are made part of the Kyoto regime it is next to useless and indeed, harmful, for a country such as Australia to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol," Mr Howard told parliament. "There are only four or five countries in the world that are on track to meet their Kyoto emission reduction targets. "One of those countries is Australia, another is New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, I understand, is close. "We are part of an arrangement whereby through our own domestic policy we are able to reduce emissions." Labor interrupted parliamentary proceedings to suspend standing orders and urgently debate the issue but the government used its numbers to defeat the motion. And in a rare move during Question Time, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley asked Labor's environment spokesman Anthony Albanese to detail why priority should be given to his private member's bill requiring the government to sign the Kyoto Protocol. "The reason why my bill should be prioritised is because climate change is the number one environmental challenge facing the global community," Mr Albanese said. Protesters from environmental groups including Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society gathered outside Parliament House in Sydney to call on NSW Premier Bob Carr to lead the green fight. The protesters set up an ice sculpture and watched it melt with the help of a wind turbine to mark their opposition to the federal government's stand. In Melbourne, about 60 protesters on the steps of the Victorian parliament waved the flags of the 141 countries that had signed the Kyoto Protocol. The protest started with a passionate kiss between two people dressed as a beaming US President George W Bush and larger-than-life Mr Howard wearing a sash, saying: "I'm with stupid". Australian Conservation Foundation vice president Peter Christoff said the federal government should be ashamed of its refusal to sign the agreement. "Australians have to continue to pressure John Howard in particular to realise he has to say sorry to the environment," he said.