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December 1, 2009

Here in Australia, there’s currently a political storm over a proposed cap-and-trade system for putting a price on carbon pollution. In brief, the federal Labor (left wing) government has passed the legislation for an emissions trading scheme in the house of representatives (where they have a clear parliamentary majority), but have had it blocked in the senate, where they lack a majority.

It has now become clear that the Liberal/National coalition (conservatives) will not pass the bill the second time around, for various reasons (a large number of members are skeptical of a human role in climate change, and others claim it will be an economic disaster). The Greens party, with five senators, have also refused to vote with Labor to pass the bill in the senate for inverse reasons — they claim it is a flawed system because of the way it rewards big polluters and due to its grossly inadequate emissions reduction targets.

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