BARACK Obama’s visit raises a single basic challenge for Julia Gillard. Unless the Prime Minister openly confirms whether the US will have a full national carbon tax or cap and trade scheme by 2016, she will have failed a bedrock test of leadership.
Labor was quick to accuse Tony Abbott of being a coward for being overseas during the Senate carbon tax vote, even though they cut short the debate to bring forward the vote knowing that he was on a trip, including a visit to Afghanistan. But Gillard will be the real coward if she fails to directly seek a global carbon trading commitment from Obama.
This test is important for a simple reason: the government modelling for the carbon tax assumes the US will be part of a global trading scheme by 2016.
For more on this story, visit: Will Gillard have guts to ask Obama the question? | The Australian.
The Australian Federal Parliament finally passed the contentious Clean Energy Bill on 8 November 2011. The legislation introduces a carbon price of $A 23 per tonne from July 2012, leading to an emissions trading scheme (cap and trade) after 3 years.
Peter Campbell’s blog on the state of the planet congratulated those involved in passing the legislation:
This is wonderful news. It is a shame it has taken so long for us to finally price pollution and provide leadership and and incentives for a clean energy future.
Well done Julia Gillard, The Labor Government, the MPCCC, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott, all the Greens in the senate – particularly Christine Milne and Bob Brown and their advisors – and Adam Bandt in the House of Representatives.
For more on reactions to this story, visit: Australia: Historic New Carbon Price Law Divides Nation · Global Voices.