G20 acknowledges yet isolates Australia on carbon tax

PM Julia Gillard’s new carbon tax has been highly commended at the G20 economic summit. As Australia plans to end the carbon tax debate in the Senate to pass the bills with Greens’ consent, the latest statement from the G20 summit in France recognizes Australia’s primary role on climate change.

Australia is been acknowledged for introducing the most wide-ranging carbon tax in the world. However, other G20 members are receding from emissions trading schemes to slash greenhouse gas emissions, such as Canada.

Daniel Schwanen of the Canadian-based Centre for International Governance Innovation said: “It’s courageous and innovative and has obviously learnt the lesson of every system that is out there. You now have Australia and Canada sitting at extremes and that’s one reason why the G20 is not quite there on climate change. To come out with some strong statement about where we are going on climate change is not credible. I think the leadership of Australia should be acknowledged but it’s not going to be a case of follow the leader.”

On the other hand, the B20 at G20 summit recommended support for steps on climate change but could not suggest more ideas to do so. They said that helping developing countries with clean energy and carbon emissions control were also essential.

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