Lawrence Solomon: Climategate’s aftermath: Australia ditches cap and trade

Emboldened following the Climategate scandal, the Liberal opposition in Australia’s parliament threw out its pro-Kyoto leader yesterday and then today, under the leadership of global warming skeptic Tony Abbott, voted down the government’s plan to pass cap and trade legislation. The proposed legislation, intended to be a feather in the cap of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd prior to his departure for climate change meetings in Copenhagen, failed by a vote of 41 to 33 in the Senate, Australia’s upper house.

Despite speculation that Rudd would call a snap election on the issue – a threat some expected him to take up because polls show him to be a favourite over his opposition – a cautious Rudd declined to risk an election against his new adversary, a conservative who pledges to oppose any tax on carbon.

The government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which faced fierce opposition from industry and agriculture, aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25% from 2000 levels by 2020.

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