Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rudd's false leadership flags climate failure

The Age recently reported that, on Kevin Rudd's New York visit to the UN and G20 talks, Australia's PM was pushing to 'restore momentum' in climate change negotiations, lest the December climate negotiations in Copenhagen become a 'wall too high to scale'.

Judging by Australia's 2020 emissions targets, I suggest that, far from breaking down the wall, Rudd is more concerned to be seen as heroically failing to climb it. The Age has run my letter responding to the article in today's edition (See also, 'Break down this wall, a brick at a time' on their letters page):
IF, as reported, Kevin Rudd sees a need for world leaders to restore momentum in climate negotiations, he should face up to his own role in building a wall too high to scale at the international talks in Copenhagen. Instead, he makes a show of false leadership that risks merely flagging the expectation of failure.

The Prime Minister wrote recently that 'there will always be differences of opinion, but arguments grounded in fact will always win the day'. Given his acknowledgment that climate change is real and that its impacts are already happening, what better case could he make for basing Australia's emission reduction targets on science?

Unfortunately, if Australia's inadequate targets were adopted by the developed nations Mr Rudd purports to lead, science shows we would come nowhere near a solution to catastrophic climate change. If the Prime Minister wants to break down the wall at Copenhagen, he needs to go beyond lip service to the problem and adopt strong, science-based emissions targets for 2020.
The talks at the UN and G20 in New York would be a good place to start.

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