The Dernogalizer

June 22, 2009

Australia an Example one Way or the Other

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

Here in the United States, environmental groups are all over the place regarding their stance on the Waxman-Markey bill in Congress.  Some say thumbs up, others say it’s better to pass it than pass nothing, and others either cannot support the bill, or want a no vote from liberal Democrats.  I explain my position and rationale here.  I saw an article in the NY Times today which made me think a lot about the dilemma faced here.  On one hand, the 17% target in the Waxman-Markey bill will most likely not lead to a desirable treaty in Copenhagen.  On the other hand, what if we show up to Copenhagen with absolutely nothing?  One thing I think people overlook is the fact that Henry Waxman and Ed Markey are two of the most progressive lawmakers in the US Congress.  They know energy, and they aren’t a bunch of pansies when it comes to global warming.  Their bill is as strong as the political system in the US will tolerate.

Australia faces a similar situation.  The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ran on a platform that included taking action on climate change, and he’s put forth a cap and trade plan, but it’s only  5% reduction below 2000 levels by 2020, but Australia is willing to go as far as 25% if other nations step up in Copenhagen.  It’s passed out of Australia’s House, but is facing huge problems in the Senate.  The labor party can’t pass the law on its own, and the conservatives are vowing to fight it and kill it.  However, in Australia they have a 3 party system, and the 3rd party is the Greens party, which is strongly pro-environment.  If the Greens party teams up with Labour, they can pass the bill.  However, the Greens are saying that 5% is too weak, and they cannot support it.  Right now, their position is 25% or bust.  If this position holds, we’re going to see a very comparable result as we would see in the United States if the liberal members of the Democratic party listened to their base and voted no because the bill wasn’t strong enough.  Would the result be a stronger bill, or an empty sheet of paper in Copenhagen?  Of course, Australia has an advantage in that if their bill fails twice, they can call elections and have the people kick out the troublemakers.  Let’s see what happens to the bill.  In my opinion,  it will give a good indication of what would happen here.  I highly recommend reading the NY Times article.



  1. […] Cross-Posted from: HERE […]

    Pingback by Australia an Example one Way or the Other « It’s Getting Hot In Here — June 22, 2009 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  2. […] Cross-Posted from: HERE […]

    Pingback by Australia an Example on Way or the Other | CCAN Blog — June 22, 2009 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  3. […] @ 1:04 am Tags: Australia, Climate Change, international negotiations Back in June, I made a post on Australia’s political situation regarding their climate bill.  Here is part of what I […]

    Pingback by Australian Climate Bill goes Down in Flames(for now) « The Dernogalizer — August 13, 2009 @ 1:04 am | Reply

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