Monday, April 26, 2010

Impasse on mitigating climate change

Yesterday Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that the ETS legislation is being postponed to 2013. In the USA, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham has pulled out of the climate bill, or has he? The fate of this legislation is up in the air.

None of this is good, but nor is it cast in stone. Australia's federal government will be holding elections this year. If by some miracle the Greens got the balance of power, something might happen sooner rather than later and we could yet have a better result than the current ETS.

LEIGH SALES: So is the current situation, then, nothing better than the Rudd ETS?

BOB BROWN: Well it actually is, because the Rudd ETS, which would have given $24 billion to the big polluters and the Gratton study which we've seen released in the last 24 hours showed that $20 billion of that would have been effectively wasted taxpayers' money, would have not achieved the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that's required, but would have locked us in to a failure to achieve the necessary reduction for the next 10 to 15 years. We weren't going to allow that to happen.
What we have put forward instead of a proposal to reward the big polluters, a proposal to put a levy onto the big polluters, as Professor Garnaut recommended, so you've got the money to stimulate business, but you also immediately get a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, something the Rudd scheme would not have done.

In the USA, the situation is still not very clear. It seems that the kerfuffle over there is because Democrat Senator Harry Reid was going to push through the Immigration Bill ahead of the climate and energy bill. But now maybe he won't.

Keep an eye on ClimateProgress for the latest developments on energy legislation in the USA.

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