Friday 24 Sep 2021 | 21:32 | SYDNEY
Friday 24 Sep 2021 | 21:32 | SYDNEY

Climate policy: Leadership vacuum


Warwick McKibbin

23 July 2010 09:38

The Labor Party's climate approach is extremely disappointing.

The science and expert input has made a strong case for action for more than a decade. A majority of Australians already want to take action on climate change. What would be required to come out of a Citizens' Assembly to convince the Government to take action? An absolute majority? A majority in key electorates?

This appears to be another 2020 Summit-style delay to make it appear that action is being taken when the purpose is purely delay for political advantage.

Australians deserve better than this. If the Hawke and Keating Governments had taken the approach of a Citizens' Assembly to consider the major economic reforms of the 1980s, Australia would be a third world economy floundering in the wake of the global financial crisis. The floating of the dollar, tariff reductions and labor market reform would not have been understood nor supported by a Citizens Assembly. What is proposed is not leadership — it is an abdication of responsible action.

The Labor approach also appears to be based on the 'fact' that the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is the best policy, one which would be implemented once enough Australians are genuinely convinced. There is far more debate needed about this policy approach, which I believe is seriously flawed, than about the science of climate change. It is the policy approach that should be debated, not the science.

Of the Coalition or Labor policies on climate change, it is hard to decide which is worse. It is appalling to see the politics of asylum seekers applied to climate change policy.

Photo by Flickr user Twm, used under a Creative Commons license.