News: Australia quits cap-n-trade due to Climategate
Published 04th December 2009 - 10 comments - 3602 views -
HERO: Tony Abbot, the new leader of the Liberal Party says climate change is "crap"
PLANS TO SET AN EXAMPLE
Australia was planning to set an example. To lead in the fight on climate change. To become one of the very first countries to install a cap-and-trade system to slash the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the air. Kevin Rudd’s administration planned to adopt the legislation even before Copenhagen COP15.
But Rudd’s Labour Party does not hold a majority and needs the support of the opposition. Seven of the 32 Liberal Party senators were needed to pass the legislation. Before Climategate it was no problem, because the leader of liberals, Malcolm Turnbull, promised to support it.
However Climategate changed it all. Liberal Party members realised, that the cap-n-trade is based on flawed science. Shouldn’t we stop and wait till the science is audited?
THURSDAY 26 NOV
But Turnbull refused to change his opinion. “The people that are opposing me within the party do not believe in climate change at all. They are turning back the clock,” he protested. But his own party turned against him. Ten top officials in the party resigned in protest against Turnbull (Thursday 26 Nov) and his continuing support to cap-n-trade.
FRIDAY 27 NOV
At first, the proposed bill never even made it to a vote on Friday (27 Nov 09) thanks to long-winded speeches by those who oppose it. "What we have seen is deliberate filibustering, a refusal to progress the bill, a refusal to get on with this legislation," said Chris Evans, the government Senate leader
Then the senate, where Rudd does not hold a majority, rejected 41-33 his administration's proposal. This was the second attempt (the bill was already turned down in August).
MONDAY 30 NOV
After a week of heated debates Turnbull had to resign (Monday, 30 Nov 09). His replacement, Tony Abbott, has previously described climate change as "crap". Abbott's victory is a fundamental change in the power and ideology of the Liberal Party. It is a smashing win for the conservative wing that has outsmarted and outmuscled the warmists. Greg Combet criticised this outcome saying that "extremists, climate change deniers and conspiracy theorists" had taken control of the Liberal Party... The fact is that Liberal Party is now deeply divided.
For now crap-n-trade bill is dead in Australia. Only new elections can change this. If the Senate rejects legislation twice in three months, Australia's constitution allows the prime minister to call a snap election before his three-year term has expired. But it will be long after Copenhagen.
It is very likely, that Australia faces a Rudd-vs-Abbott 2010 election over the economy and climate change.
Turnbull frowned: “Australians will punish us very, very severely at the next election if… we go to the election as the 'do nothing on climate change' party."
Really? In fact the death of the cap-n-trade scheme is good news for ordinary Aussies. They are happy it is gone.
The Rudd’s plan would have imposed a tax on industries' carbon emissions starting in 2011. These taxes would harm Australian economy badly. Australians have the highest per capita carbon emissions of any major developed country thanks to its sprawling suburbs and heavy coal use. Also, Australia is by some way the world's largest exporter of coal. Last year, the Business Council of Australia called Rudd's cap-and-trade climate plan a "company killer", and declared war on the policy.
Australia has a history of rational approach to climate. Twelve years ago at the Kyoto climate negotiations, other rich nations promised cuts in carbon emissions. But Australia won permission to increase its emissions by 8%. And even that wasn't good enough for the prime minister John Howard, who eventually pulled out of the Kyoto protocol along with George W Bush.
Note: Now it is one week later and the COP15 website has not informed about this major blow yet (4 Dec 09).
Guardian reporting on the first climatic political crisis:
Website of the Liberal Party: http://www.liberal.org.au/Shadow%20Ministry/Tony%20Abbott/index.php%20
About the author
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