The environment minister of Australia has announced that his country will join the US, India, Japan, South Korea and China to form a new pact – billed as an alternative to Kyoto – putting restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases. It's a "U.S.-driven secret alliance called the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate." We have to admit that we share Sustainablog's pessimism on this one. We'll believe it when we see it, but we've pretty much lost hope to see anything positive being done about global warming in the US at the federal level, at least while the oilmen are in power. Maybe we're just cynics, but a backroom deal like this one was probably made because it started to seem inevitable that something would have to be done and so, by going ahead with a deal before its forced on them, they can dictate what's in it better and have an excuse for not joining the rest of the world with Kyoto or post-Kyoto, and thus avoid acting based on a relatively transparent process. It's their deal, they only have to give what they want to give. We should have more details soon, lets hope we are wrong and it's a wonderful pact.