Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Australia Ditches Carbon Emissions Legislation

Australia's centre-right (does that sound familiar?) Liberal Party has blocked prime minister Kevin Rudd's climate change legislation, sending it to defeat in the Australian Senate.

Liberal party opposition leader Tony Abbott says Australia should limit its greenhouse gas reduction targets to five per cent by 2020.

Rather than call a general election, Rudd says he'll re-introduce the legislation in February for a second vote. Then if it fails Australians will go to the polls.


LMA said...

So, going into Copenhagen, which countries have made a definite commitment to reduce emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020? I'm afraid I'm getting confused by all the different targets being set my various countries. I mistakenly thought that the US climate change bill called for a reduction below 1990 levels, but it turns out Obama is trying to return to 1990 levels of emissions by reductions of 17% from 2006 levels by 2020. Right?

The Mound of Sound said...

You're getting lost in irrelevant and misleading details LMA. These percentage reductions based in part on either intensity based formulae or carbon trading are essentially moving food around on a plate to make it appear you've actually eaten something.

The UN climate chief has already said the numbers being bandied about are much too modest to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Think of it as having half enough gas to land the airplane.

America's top climate scientist, Hansen, now hopes there's no deal whatsoever at Copenhagen because he believes the conditions don't exist right now to reach a deal that would do any good. In fact he worries that a half-assed deal would backfire, leading to a complacency that would block any meaningful treaty afterward.