Wong's hubris on Australian role in climate
The Prime Minister warned yesterday international agreement was "not nearly a done deal" and shifted his climate change pitch to domestic politics, attacking opposition disunity on the issue.
His attack came as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong also appeared pessimistic about Copenhagen but said Australia should still embrace an emissions trading system to set an example.
The comments came as an expert in international negotiations told The Weekend Australian there was no prospect of agreement in Copenhagen because differences between the positions of the US, the European Union, China and India were too great.
Alan Oxley, a former senior trade negotiator for the Australian government, said it would take years to craft workable agreements on reducing carbon emissions and emissions trading.
Senator Wong, who yesterday met Democrat congressmen Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, who are sponsoring the US bill, said the message from the Obama administration and key congressional leaders was that they were committed to passing their climate change laws as soon as possible. [The chances are getting smaller by the day - Ed]
She said the worst position for Australia would be to delay action, as it would only encourage delay by the US and the rest of the world.
So even though there is little prospect of agreement in Copenhagen, and that the US climate bill is teetering on the brink, Australia should plough on to "set an example"? Madness.
Read it here.