Sadly, climate legislation didn’t only die this year in the US, but it also faltered in Australia after attempts by now smoldering Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to pass a Carbon Reduction scheme that was damn pretty weak from my perspective (5% cut below 2000 levels by 2020). Now with Rudd on the way out, the new prime minister Julia Gillard laid out her proposal, which is the same as Rudd’s except a delay in action until at least 2012. Weak meets weakest. As you can see from the excerpts below, Gillard’s rhetoric doesn’t match her weak stomach for significant action…
“Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday embraced the same policy on climate change that her predecessor failed to pass, but said in a campaign speech that any action would be delayed until at least 2012.
“The price of inaction is too high a price for our country to pay,” she said at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. “Because the price of inaction is price rises, job losses and innovations lost.”
“Gillard left no doubt where she stands on global warming.
“My starting point is that climate change is real and it is caused to a significant extent by human activity,” she said. “The science tells us that we need to limit the growth of carbon pollution in our atmosphere to 450 parts per million if we are going to have a chance of limiting global temperature growth to two degrees or less.”
That explains the government’s commitment to cut pollution levels by at least 5 percent by 2020 compared with levels in 2000, she said.
“We have not abandoned our commitment to take action on climate change,” she said, noting that the government announced in April that it had made “a difficult decision” to defer the CPRS until at least 2012.”