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climate change policy in Australia « Previous | |Next »
January 13, 2004

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Alan Moir

The news is that Australia has abandoned working towards the international greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme of the Kyoto Protocol. As Matt McDonald says:


"The emissions trading scheme, which allows industry to offset production of greenhouse gas emissions by investing in projects such as carbon sinks, was designed to minimise the immediate burden of emissions reductions on industry and allow a gradual transition to sustainable industrial practices."


We need to remind ourselves of the history of Australia's climate change policy at this point to gain some perspective. Matt McDonald again:

"Australia pushed hard to ensure that the greenhouse emissions targets under Kyoto would be limited, but has pointed to the inadequacies of these targets and mechanisms to attain them. In 2002 the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, described the protocol as a "stunt", and not "a serious way of addressing the issue". That a government that had secured an increase in greenhouse emissions targets - and with the highest per capita production of greenhouse gas emissions in the world - could criticise the level of global reductions as inadequate is stunning in its hypocrisy."


What this shows is that Australia has little intention to help work towards creating an institutional mechanism through which international agreements on restricting greenhouse gases could be reached in the future. It also shows an indifference to the loss of Australia's plants and animals from the consequences of global warming.

And it shows that John Howard's Australia has little interest in making the switch from a fossil fuel economy to non-carbon one. This Government will probably not increase Australia's mandatory renewable energy target (from its current 2% to 10%) to facilitate the development of non-renewable energy industries in Australia.

Does the Howard Government actually have a Greenhouse policy?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:43 AM | | Comments (0)
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