Rudd had recently become Labor Party leader, and was determined to make climate change An Issue. Soon after this announcement, he characterised as “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” into an election issue, sensing incumbent Prime Minister John Howard’s extreme vulnerability.
But Australia’s problems, since the beginning of the climate issue, have been
a) its reliance on coal-fired power stations for domestic electricity generation
b) its booming coal exports.
The dream of “clean coal” could theoretically (or perhaps “rhetorically”) solve both these problems.
Alongside Rudd was the shadow Labor Environment Minister, Peter Garratt – ex-lead singer of Midnight Oil – who by this time had somewhat damaged his relations with erstwhile green friends by participating in smears of Bob Brown… [check dates and for libel!!]