Australia’s prime minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, has moved swiftly on his election to make climate change a priority by holding meetings with government officials about signing Kyoto. His predecessor, John Howard, refused to sign it.

Rudd has also confirmed he will attend the forthcoming UN climate summit in Bali and said he had already discussed Kyoto ratification and other climate change issues with UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

By announcing at the first news conference since his election triumph his intention to immediately sign the Kyoto pact, the Guardian reports that “Rudd made it clear that a new man with new ideas is at the helm.” “Everyone’s going to have their hands well and truly full,” Rudd said of the people who will be in his government.

Well with record droughts and failing crops Rudd will have his work cut out.