Kyoto - The first cut to emissions

The Australian - PETER Garrett's political credentials were in tatters last night after Kevin Rudd forced his environment spokesman to issue a humiliating clarification of Labor's greenhouse gas policy. The backdown came after a Labor crisis meeting, which followed a day of sustained assault by John Howard and senior ministers on Mr Garrett's approach to a new post-Kyoto climate accord. Mr Garrett started the day by committing a Labor government to signing a new global agreement on greenhouse gas emissions targets that might not include developing nations, such as China and India.

The Opposition Leader had initially endorsed Mr Garrett's statement, drawing fire from senior government ministers, who accused Labor of destroying Australia's position on climate change and threatening jobs. At a press conference in Cairns yesterday morning, where Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett unveiled a $200 million plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef, both men repeated the commitment. Only after Mr Howard and other Coalition ministers began to publicly question the policy, and the media began asking questions, did Mr Rudd, Mr Garrett and a team of advisers hold a crisis meeting at lunch-time in Cairns.

It was decided that Mr Garrett, who had made the initial commitment, should release a statement that "clarified" Labor's position and recognised the need to lock developing nations into targets for greenhouse gas emission cuts. After Mr Rudd had flown to Townsville, Mr Garrett issued a statement to the media, emphasising that Labor's policy was to seek binding targets at the Bali conference for both "developed and developing" nations. Mr Garrett's statement even italicised the "and" to make it clear he was repudiating his earlier comments.

Off you go Mr. Garrett, take your place on the naughty bench with Robert McClelland and the Union heavies, the whip has been cracked folks, comrade Rudd was caught out again, soft on detail, heavy on slogans and one-liners. So the team had to take another one for Comrade. There'll be a lot of gnashing of teeth over on the left over this, but what else can those morons do but watch their Kyoto dreams going up in flames along with all their grand plans to punish cure Australians of all their affluenza. I think Paul Kelly nailed it in Fiasco exposes Labor weakness -

In his clarifying statement, Garrett said a Rudd government would campaign to secure binding pledges post-2012 from both developed and developing nations. Critically, he said that appropriate developing nations commitments were essential for Australia to support the agreement.
This is Howard's position.

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