Malcolm Turnbull all tangled in knots over Paris Climate Conference

Turnbull straightjacket
Malcolm Turnbull: Verbal acrobatics required for Paris climate

Independent Australia, 8 November 2015, Malcolm Turnbull will need to utilise his obvious talent for rhetoric to convince a global audience at the Paris climate talks in November, as there is no substance to the Government’s “Direct Action” climate policy, says Noel Wauchope.

Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has an appealing and glib turn of phrase. He’s going to need that talent when he speaks at the United Nations Paris Climate Conference in late November.

The thing is, Malcolm has to sell to the conference Australia’s current policy on climate change. The Government’s “Direct Action” climate policy is unchanged, despite the departure of climate sceptic Tony Abbott. Its flagship is the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

The ERF boils down to tax-payer handouts to polluting companies that volunteer to cut their greenhouse emissions. There is no enforcement policy, meaning that the companies get the money, and for a year or more, do not need to show that they have reduced emissions.

After a year, the government proposes a ‘safeguards mechanism’, to be explained fully then, so allowing the companies plenty of leeway to lobby to make it meaningless. ……..

What happened to Turnbull? Mark Kenny & James Massola wrote in The Age in February:

‘Amid feverish speculation over the leadership, unconfirmed reports also claimed Mr Turnbull had moved to assuage fears in the conservative wing of the party that his return to the leadership would see a reprise of the carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme. It was claimed Mr Turnbull had promised, in a secret deal, that there would be no such reprise if elected.’

More recently, Kenny expressed it in this way:

‘Turnbull has his hands tied, having lost the leadership in 2009 to Abbott for supporting emissions trading, and then having regained it in 2015 on the express condition of opposing it. Release from such Houdini-esque chains will take some doing.’…….

Turnbull’s support for nuclear waste dumping in Australia might go down okay at the Paris talks. There will be a strong push there for nuclear power to be portrayed as cure for a climate change. At present, “new nuclear” is hamstrung in the U.S. because there has to be a waste solution before it can go ahead. ……

However, to persuade the world on Australia’s entire climate inaction package is a task that will demand Turnbull’s very best linguistic acrobatics.

Malcolm Turnbull faces an epic task to keep faith with Liberal Coalition climate denialists, while making Australia’s pathetic climate policy look at all reasonable to the global audience.,8356


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