Sunday, 7 February 2010

"Lib policy would 'boost' emissions",

The headline "Lib policy would 'boost' emissions" grabbs attention, but its not about the UK. Its about an election battle in Australia that is featuring climate change as an important issue.

The current Prime Minister of Australia is Kevin Rudd (centre-left Australia Labor Party (ALP)). In opposition, Rudd called climate change "the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time" and called for a cut to greenhouse gas emissions by 60% before 2050. On 3 December 2007, as his first official act after being sworn in, Rudd signed the Kyoto Protocol. On 15 December 2008, Rudd released a White Paper on reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The White Paper includes a plan to introduce an emissions trading scheme in 2010 that is known as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and gave a target range for Australia's greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 of between 5% and 15% less than 2000 levels. Last year Rudd announced that the Government will delay implementing an emissions trading scheme until 2011. This all sounds horribly familiar.

In opposition is Tony Abbott, federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia.
At an October 2009 meeting in the Victorian town of Beaufort, Abbott told the audience that the concept of climate change was "absolute crap". When questioned about that statement, he said he had used "a bit of hyperbole" at that meeting rather than it being his "considered position". After his election as Liberal leader, Mr Abbott promised to have a strong and effective climate change policy - but not one that would damage Australian export industries, putting the country at a competitive disadvantage with its competitors.''It's quite likely that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has some effect on climate, but debate rages among scientists over its extent and relative impact, given all the other factors at work.''

The Liberal Party is usually in a coalition with the smaller National Party.

The Australian Greens won 8 per cent of the 2007 vote. Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says that, after the Copenhagen collapse, next year's federal election will be a referendum on global warming.

"The 2010 poll is shaping up as a vote for or against Australia taking a lead in fixing global warming below 1.5 degrees. That means a 2020 target of reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels and, in doing so, taking action for the rest of this threatened world to follow," Senator Brown said. "Kevin Rudd's target range of 5-25 percent needs lifting to responsibly meet the need. Tony Abbott's got no effective target - so he is taxing everyone's patience. Where is his plan to tackle the polluters?"

Australia's emissions would increase by 13 per cent by 2020 - not fall by the promised 5 per cent - under Tony Abbott's Emissions Reduction Fund, say Rudds government.

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