Procrastinating on international climate change action

Someone in the Federal Government ought to read Brian Tracey’s Eat that Frog! The latest development in our international efforts on climate change strikes me as a massive case of procrastination. As reported this morning (Joint emissions plan to UN):

AUSTRALIA says a new legally binding global deal on climate change should not be finalised until 2015 so measures strengthening global action to reduce emissions can be put in place.

In a joint submission with Norway to the United Nations, Australia proposes the 2015 timetable in a plan to ”scale-up” international efforts on climate change to meet a global goal of limiting temperature rises below 2 degrees.

The Australia-Norway submission argues a 2015 timetable ”will provide time and space for countries to build confidence and capacity, and ensure a robust outcome over time”.

A spokesman for the Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, said yesterday ”existing commitments under the Kyoto Protocol end in December 2012 and Australia supports a binding agreement of all major emitters as soon as practicable after that”.

The 2015 timetable is likely to bolster domestic critics of the government’s carbon tax plans, who argue slow global progress on climate change puts Australia ahead of the world by introducing the scheme in mid-2012.

Climate change is either a threat to humanity, in which case we should press for an immediate international agreement, or it isn’t, in which case we should scrap the proposed carbon tax. I am very confused about the Government’s position on this issue.

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