Change Alley

information, opinion, conversation

All Change For The Climate?

with 4 comments

IPCC BaliIn politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. Kevin Rudd’s election victory in Australia, just before the start of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, has created a wave of optimism that at last we might be getting somewhere. There are legal arguments that the Rudd government would have to consult the Australian parliamentary committee on treaties before it could ratify Kyoto, which could delay signing until next year. Whether or not there are constitutional delays to putting pen to paper, the mere promise that Australia will ratify has been enough to win praise from environmental groups and generate a feeling of optimism among the participants in next week’s conference.

But is that optimism justified? Concerns have been expressed that Australia’s negotiating team in Bali is dominated by the same senior officials who have led the Government’s anti-Kyoto position for the past five years. The Australian delegation will be led by Mr Rudd and his environment minister, but the alternative heads are all Howard government appointees from the Department of Foreign Affairs, including the ambassador for the environment, Jan Adams, and the special negotiator on climate change, Robert Owen-Jones. Mr Owen-Jones is set to lead the first round of talks on Monday.

Greg Bourne, CEO of WWF Australia, said Mr Rudd’s advice to the negotiating team will be critical. “Will that negotiating team signal something completely different? Or will they keep going with the inertia of the previous 11½ years?”.

The world is watching.

Sydney Morning Herald


Written by Pete Smith

November 28, 2007 at 8:36 am

Posted in Australia, Climate change, Politics

Tagged with , ,

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Australia has a new environment minister (well, there are two!); former front man for the band Midnight Oil. As the Guardian says: Peter Garrett was the frontman of Midnight Oil, an Australian rock band known for its raucously loud music and protest songs about social and environmental issues.

    Passionate about the injustices meted out to Australia’s indigenous population, he and the other band members had a worldwide hit in 1987 with the track Beds are Burning, a protest song about Aboriginal land rights in Australia.

    The band also used music to register its anger about environmental issues, performing at the Jabiluka uranium mine in remote Arnhem Land and staging an impromptu concert outside Exxon’s New York headquarters in 1990 with a banner that read: “Midnight Oil Makes You Dance, Exxon Oil Makes Us Sick.”

    Alongside his singing career, Garrett also served as head of the Australian Conservation Foundation and sat on the international board of Greenpeace.

    I saw Garrett on campus in NZ back in 1985 when he did a great anti-nuclear speech. NZ banned all things nuclear that year … including British nuclear war ships entering NZ habours.


    November 30, 2007 at 7:49 pm

  2. But he’s not going to Bali.

    Pete Smith

    November 30, 2007 at 10:34 pm

  3. No, a rather odd situation whereby two people are sharing different areas of environmental responsibilities and his is not CC because apparently he made some silly gaffs during the election campaign. I don’t think former rock star rebels would have the paitience or skill for tedious negotiations.


    December 1, 2007 at 9:17 am

  4. “But he’s not going to Bali”

    Whoops, I jumped the gun there, he is. I hope they remember to gag him, he’s a loose gun on the deck that one.,25197,22851367-30417,00.html

    Pete Smith

    December 1, 2007 at 9:50 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: