Thursday, August 13, 2009

No Cap & Trade In Australia, At Least for Now


Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s Senate rejected the government’s climate-change legislation, forcing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to amend the bill or call an early election.

Senators voted 42 to 30 against the law, which included plans for a carbon trading system similar to one used in Europe. Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, was proposing to reduce greenhouse gases by between 5 percent and 15 percent of 2000 levels in the next decade.

Rudd, who needs support from seven senators outside the government to pass laws through the upper house, can resubmit the bill after making amendments. A second rejection after a three-month span would give him a trigger to call an election.

“We may lose this fight, but this issue will not go away,” Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told the Senate in Canberra. “Australia cannot afford for climate change to be unfinished business.”

Five members from the Australian Greens party sought bigger cuts to emissions while the opposition coalition and independent Senator Nick Xenophon wanted to wait for further studies on the plan’s impact on the economy.

Australia’s rainfall is the lowest of the world’s continents, excluding Antarctica, according to the Web site of Melbourne Water, a water management authority owned by the Victorian state government. Years of drought have cut farm output and water supplies in the Murray Darling Basin, the nation’s biggest river system and home to almost half its farms.

Lower rainfall, higher sea and land temperatures, severe storms, increased acidity in the ocean or rising sea levels could all threaten World Heritage sites such as the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, a report from the Australian National University said last week....

By the way, global warming would produce more moisture and rainfall, like a greenhouse, which is something it seems the Aussi’s need. A book by a New Zealander should be studied well: