Monday, June 28, 2010

Gillard stumbles as call for climate action sounds

Despite the rise of our plain-spoken and highly capable first female prime minister, Julia Gillard has taken little time to make her first false moves on climate.

Writing in The Age, Adam Morton relates the role of climate backsliding in the demise of Kevin Rudd as a conviction politician, but we now see Julia Gillard party to a brown coal deal with Vietnam as she “opens the door” to the mining industry and flags the need to build community “consensus” before Australia acts decisively on climate.

The consensus line comes as a new poll already shows strong concern for action on climate and a perception that the major parties are "clones" on climate policy.

An admitted party to the Rudd Government’s disastrous decision to shelve work on emissions trading, Gillard now appears to be operating on the consensus of the mining industry that it proceed full-steam ahead with the extraction of our natural resources despite the community, environmental and climate impacts, and quite possibly with a watered-down tax payment on its super profits.

The prime minister surely recalls Kevin Rudd’s 2007 election mandate to act on climate, and Australia's historic ratification of Kyoto. Julia Gillard must now acknowledge that should she ignore the scientific and growing community consensus, the climate will render self-evident its own consensus through the clear and worsening impacts of global warming. That is already happening, and further delay on climate action is no better than denial.

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