Magazine of the Socialist Party in Australia

Rudd puts market before environment at Bali

It hasn’t taken long for ALP Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to show his market credentials on the climate change issue that, second only to Work Choices, was responsible for his victory last month. Yet in Bali at the United Nations Climate Change conference the Australian government has refused to agree a mild proposal for developed nations to aim to reduce global emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Instead he agreed to a longer term target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050. By then world temperatures could increase by 2 degrees with devastating impact on the lives of millions of people, wildlife and coral reefs.

Rudd has demanded an economic impact study first. The interests of the profit system come before the interests of the planet in his view. The new government will sign Kyoto, which allows Australia to INCREASE its emissions by 8% from the 1990 level, so it’s hardly radical. The fact is the best ‘solutions’ on offer from any section of the capitalist class are market-based such as carbon trading initiatives which allow big business to buy the right to pollute.

The Socialist Party stands for a nationalised planned economy under the democratic control of the population, so that a radical and immediate reorganising of production and distribution can occur to effect environment-protecting initiatives. Anything less may be too late to save the planet.

By Socialist Party reporters