Saturday, July 12, 2008

Nelson 'frightened' over climate change

ABC News Online, Posted 4 hours 32 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 1 minute ago

Greens leader Bob Brown says Federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson's shifts on climate change policy show he is "frightened" by the issue.

Dr Nelson now appears to be in step with his senior colleagues over emissions trading policy, after a confusing week for the Opposition.

On Friday, Dr Nelson committed to a 2012 start date for a carbon trading system, despite earlier insisting it would be better to wait for the world to act before taking action locally.

Senator Brown said Dr Nelson's initial approach was dangerous.

"He's wrong, and he's a frightened leader," he told Channel 10.

"We should be the same here in Australia, setting a lead for the Asia-Pacific region.

"We're exporting coal to China, why shouldn't we be exporting our renewable energy, our solar panels, our solar hot water systems instead of importing them?"

Mr Brown said the Greens would do whatever it took to guarantee the Government's emissions trading scheme was tough enough.

The make-up of the scheme will become clearer on Wednesday when the Government releases a policy discussion paper.

The Greens will share the balance of power in the new Senate and they are pushing for deep emissions cuts.

Senator Brown said he was not opposed to "cross-trading", or negotiating on legislation, to get what he wants.

But he said the Greens should not have to resort to behind-the-scenes deals.

"Well you can't ever say there'll be no cross-trading but basically you take each issue as it comes along," he said.

"We shouldn't have to, this Government should be taking a lead, a global lead in having Australia go to the forefront ... in meeting dangerous cataclysmic climate change."

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