The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting article on why Julia Gillard ‘may make a good PM after all’ – Labor are going ahead and imposing a ‘carbon tax’ on emissions. About time. If you remember, it was the former Labor leader Kevin Rudd’s reluctance to push ahead when he was PM that signalled the beginning of the end for him.
Australia is one of the highest greenhouse gas emitters in the world. It relies heavily on coal to fuel the economy. Around 80% of electricity comes from burning domestic coal. Australia is also the largest exporter of coal on the planet, with increasing amounts heading to China and India each year. Clearly, something needs to change.
But there is one major obstacle to Gillard’s ‘carbon tax’ plan – the Greens. They hold the balance of power in the Australian Senate. If they do not regard Labor’s proposals as adequate then it will be stalled. If this happens then the former Labor Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, will have been proved right – with the Greens you get Left wing rhetoric but Right wing outcomes. In short, the ideological purity of the Greens may prevent the carbon tax from happening. This would be a crying shame.