A global recession is no excuse for ignoring climate change

May 5, 2009 at 22:16 Leave a comment

Current economic conditions are being used as a convenient excuse to renege on former agreements by leaders of countries as well as companies.

This week, the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that the current economic climate means that their plans for the carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) must be put back one year due to economic conditions, according to a BBC report.

Given that Australia has the highest per capita emissions in the developed world, you would be forgiven for expecting Rudd to demonstrate global leadership skills by redressing the balance. If he sincerely wishes to make a difference to his country, he needs to create a global vision and think how he can make a positive change globally.

Successive Australian administrations have not been quick on the uptake of global environmental intiatives. She was one of the last two countries who vetoed the Kyoto agreement until December 2007. (The other country to infamously veto the Kyoto agreement is the USA.)

Protecting the Australian Economy may be Prime Minister Rudd’s first priority. But at what cost? Not only will its current emission ‘policy’ affect the rest of the world, the consequences of inaction are at it’s wn doorstep. Australia is surrounded by and houses some of the world’s most precious natural resources and places of beauty such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Kevin Rudd’s commitment to reducing emissions by 5-15% by 2020 is paltry in comparison to European standards. But even that may be too little too late. Isn’t it about time, the democratically-voted heads of nation states demonstrate true visionary leadership?

Harun Rabbani

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Entry filed under: Environment.

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