Copenhagen: Rudd's same old story on ETS

Did it happen?

It’s as if the disaster that was Copenhagen never happened. Kevin Rudd has vowed to press on with the ETS exactly as before, same targets, same timetable, despite the fact that Copenhagen achieved virtually nothing. Finally speaking publicly for the first time since his return from No-Hopenhagen, the rhetoric is unchanged:

KEVIN Rudd has ruled out any change in the government’s emission-reduction targets as business exploits the uncertainty following the Copenhagen conference to press for a review of Labor’s climate change strategy.

The Prime Minister declared there was no way the government would agree to a target for cuts in excess of 25 per cent, as the Greens had been urging.

“Australia will do no more and no less than the rest of the world,” he said.

Mr Rudd said the government would stick to its target of reducing emissions by a minimum of 5 per cent by 2020, with the possibility of the target being increased to between 15 and 25 per cent depending upon what action other nations take.

He blamed opposition from developing countries for the failure of the Copenhagen talks to reach a comprehensive agreement, although he declined to specifically criticise the Chinese.

He said the final deal at Copenhagen had, for the first time, set a target of reducing world temperatures by 2C, which all nations said they would aim to achieve, with an agreed system of national and international monitoring. (source)

Not only that, but AGL has labelled the administration of the other plank of the emissions reduction plan, the renewable energy target, a “fraud”:

AGL threatened not to invest in alternative energy forms until the Government addressed a collapse in the price of certificates designed to encourage investment.

The threat highlights the risks hanging over $30 billion of expected investment needed to reach a target of obtaining 20 per cent of power from renewable sources by 2020.

The managing director of AGL, Michael Fraser, said the Government’s approach was a fraud that threatened the industry’s ability to meet the target.

To encourage investment, energy companies receive renewable energy certificates in return for building green power stations. But the value of these certificates has almost halved, from near $60 to about $30 since the Government began issuing them to consumers who install solar hot water systems and other products that do not generate power.

Because of the price fall, Mr Fraser said, plans to build the $800 million Macarthur wind farm in Victoria were under enormous pressure. The project is expected to create 500 jobs during construction and Mr Fraser said up to seven other wind farms being considered were also under threat.

The only new wind farms AGL would definitely build were those required under contracts to supply power to desalination plants for the Victorian and South Australian governments.

”Beyond that, you simply won’t see us invest until this issue gets resolved,” Mr Fraser said. (source)

Ouch. And the Copenhagen blame game is really in full swing, especially in The Guardian, under the headline “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room”:

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was “the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility”, said Christian Aid. “Rich countries have bullied developing nations,” fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. (source)

Setting things up nicely for even less progress in 2010.


  1. set a target of reducing world temperatures by 2C

    My understanding is that they agreed to cap increases to 2C not exactly the same thing.

    Merry Christmas

  2. If people want a green world.
    then stop buying Chineese products.

    China frustrated the COP top,
    now people of the world decide themselves.

    No more “made by china” unless approved by a green label.
    We make china transparent! That should be done anyway.
    Digital democracy of the third millennium: how can you expect your
    government to take responsibility if you do not even bother about a green
    label ?

    You don’t have to wait tille the next top, start yourselves, start today, start small! If governments want to join, they shloud implement green labels. Imagine a green label, next to “made by china” hi hi, simple, just do’nt buy the china sh….

  3. I wouldn’t worry to much there is that much double talk with climate change to make Yes Minister proud.

    Can I just say thank you Simon for running this site I have it bookmarked and check it every day also would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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