October 17, 2008
Australia Holds Firm On Climate Issues
World leaders must confront the danger of the global climate change in spite of the state "of the global financial crisis," Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Friday.
Rudd supported the majority opinion that aggressive tactics must be taken towards the problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of halting world economies.
Before meeting with Australian business leaders in Sydney, Rudd said that the economic troubles made it "tougher for dealing with what is already a tough set of negotiations" on fighting the climate change.
"What I'd say to leaders around the world and to the community here in Australia is that the problem of climate change and global warming doesn't disappear because of the global financial crisis," Rudd said.
"Unless we deal with this, the roll-on consequences for the economy over time ... is huge," he noted.
Noting the unpaid U.S. subprime mortgages, Rudd stated that "the cancer didn't just stay local: It spread across the world to all the other institutions that had been wrapped up in it."
Rudd was taking note of the opinions of business leaders Friday over how the government can help prevent Australia's first recession in a long time.
The prime minister will introduce a national charge on carbon emissions in 2010 and hopes for a new United Nations concurrence on restricting greenhouse gas emissions at a climate change meeting in Copenhagen scheduled for next year.
Australia has the worst carbon dioxide pollution per capita due to its serious dependence on plentiful coal reserves. The driest continent after Antarctica, it is also one of the most susceptible countries to climate change.