The crux of Rudd’s 7.30 Report “crack up” was Kerry’s suggestion that he’d squibbed it on climate change:

“Penny Wong and I sat up for three days and three nights with 20 leaders from around the world to try and frame a global agreement.

“Now it might be easy for you to sit in 7:30 Report land and say that was easy to do. Let me tell you, mate, it wasn’t.

“We are fundamentally committed to climate change. We could not get the accord that we wanted. As a consequence we need to do further work on the global front, further work on the national front because I am absolutely passionate about acting on climate change.”

Rudd cited two “realities” he says have derailed the government’s proposed ETS. One comes in the form of Tony Abbott. The other is “the progress on global action has been slower than any of us would like.”

Let’s take a turn around the globe, shall we?

This week the new Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition announced their key pollution reduction elements (on top of the EU ETS). Measures include the establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters, the creation of a green investment bank, the provision of a floor price for carbon (as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits) and the establishment of a high-speed rail network.

In the US, Washington witnessed the release of the Kerry-Lieberman draft “American Power Act“:

“It is time for Democrats, Republicans and independents to come together to pass legislation that will create American jobs and achieve energy security, while reducing carbon pollution by 17% in 2020 and by over 80% in 2050.”

Meanwhile, as Dr Peter J. Wood writes in Crikey today:

“… it is becoming increasingly likely that China will introduce a price on greenhouse gas emissions before Australia does. China Daily is reporting that China is likely to be levied between 2011 and 2015.”

Back here, in 7.30 Report land and beyond, we’re stuck with a PM who’s shrugged off the main plank of his 2007 election platform and an opposition leader who tells children it was warmer in Jesus’ time.

And that’s the reality, mate.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey