So Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $200 million plan to help stop deforestation in Asia?

Turnbull says a global response is needed, and that the funds will be used to plant trees and reduce illegal logging in South-East Asia: “The biggest deforesters in the world or the places where the most deforestation of tropical forests is occurring are in Brazil and Indonesia. They’re the top two so naturally our focus is going to be on our part of the world but we’re not limiting it to that.”

Labor has bagged the plan. Its environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, wants the Government to agree to new targets for cutting emissions.

Greens leader Bob Brown says tackling deforestation in South-East Asia is a worthy aim, but claims the Government should first reduce deforestation at home.

Aren’t they all wrong – but just too busy chasing Green votes to admit to the central flaw in the plan?

If the reason that the Australian Government – rightly or wrongly – hasn’t signed the Kyoto protocol is because we can’t influence other countries in Asia to reduce emissions, then why the hell should we spend Australian taxpayers’ money in an attempt to influence the same recalcitrants on deforestation?

Oh, whoops! Nobody cares about taxpayers’ money when there are soft green votes at stake.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey