You’ll recall a recent post where I wrote about Australia’s carbon emissions trading scheme, not more than 3 weeks ago. Just when it seemed like Australia had a plan and the world’s largest per-capita carbon emitter was going to take an important step for both the future of the planet, citizens and business, PM Kevin Rudd has now announced a delay of at least a year. Citing the “worst economic crisis since the great depression”, Mr. Rudd pushed the roll out of the carbon trading plan to 2011, admitting that he has been under great pressure from the resource sector.
Pointing to economic difficulties as a reason to not adopt necessary and potentially revolutionary (for the good of people, planet and how we do business) is a move not unique to Australia. Perhaps the most famous nation to adopt this philosophy was the United States during the Bush administration, which refused to discuss curbing carbon emissions as it would allegedly damage the economy.
So despite the environmental and social platform that helped sweep Kevin Rudd into office, despite the clear evidence from the world’s leading scientists that climate change is real and that it is vital that we launch what many have refferred to as the Green New Deal, we still have leaders and governments who worry that it isn’t a convenient time for their political careers or their national economies. Nevermind the countless jobs that would be created, the positive environmental impact, and the need to take action sooner rather than later – The Australian government thinks the world can wait.