By AR - Kevin07's Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong appeared on Lateline last night. Acknowledging there is an urgent challenge, she confirms the Kevin07 government is committed to meet that challenge. But, she says, it is going to be tough due to 11 years of the Howard government failing to act on climate change.
"Look, we all know from the public reports, from the IPCC report, from the Garnaut review reports that this is an urgent challenge and obviously this is a government which is committed to meeting that challenge. The Australian people did vote to take responsibility on climate change, they want to take responsibility on climate change and those are the policies we will implement but clearly we are coming into this after 11 years of inaction by the previous government."But, but but... somehow despite the previous government doing nothing we're on track to meeting our Kyoto targets.
"Look, this is a very significant task. What we have to do is to transform the Australian economy over time to a lower carbon future. That is a significant task but obviously we have a range of policies in place which are designed to meet that and one of the reports which was tabled in parliament today showed that Australia is on track to meet its Kyoto target. Now clearly that is only the first step."Obviously Kevin07 will want to differentiate its Climate Change initiatives from the Howard government. For starters, since Howard's inaction on Climate Change has us "on track" to meet our Kyoto target, how about reducing the target from 108% of 1990 levels?
"108 per cent is the Kyoto target, Tony, and that is the Kyoto commitment but that does not mean the Government will not continue to put in place the policies with which we went to the election to reduce Australia's emissions."But does that mean we will come in under that target?
"Well these are decisions yet to be made."Remember, it was the Howard government that was inactive on climate change. At least they negotiated and set a target - Kevin07 won't further commit to anything. No commitment, but we are sending messages.
"You saw that by the fact it was our first official act of government to ratify the Kyoto protocol which put us back on the map. What it did was send a signal to the world that this nation was going to be part of the solution when it came to climate change, not part of the problem."Whoo - that's some powerful rhetoric that would look good on a coffee mug. So meeting our targets means we're still part of the problem? Confirmation that in practical terms signing Kyoto was pointless. But Australia, having signed up, can now negotiate hard with other countries.
"So the challenge in terms of the international negotiations is to find what mechanisms we can put in place to get the major developing countries, major developing economies to be part of the solution... we are committed as a government to constructively engaging with the United States, with China and India and as part of the global negotiations on climate change. This is a global problem and all the nations of the world need to be part of the solution."Yes, she's right. We all do need to be part of the solution. Wow. A typo by the ABC transcript writer has Tony Jones suggesting one possible, perhaps likely way to get developing nations to follow emissions targets.
"Should there be a global fund a sort of global martial plan to help these developing countries move in that direction?"I think he meant Marshall Plan. Yeah right, good old USA has to come to the rescue again.