It beggars belief, but the Liberal Party fought the 1990 Federal Election with a stronger emissions reduction target than Labor. But by 1992 that was ancient history. Liberal leader John Hewson had already launched his ‘Fightback!’ manifesto, neoliberalism writ large, which was silent on climate change… This below, reported by the estimable Michelle Grattan, was merely a mopping up exercise…
“The federal coalition will reconsider its radical position on curbing emission of greenhouse gasses. The Opposition Leader, Dr Hewson, said yesterday that he had asked the environment spokesman, Mr Chaney, to review the Opposition’s policy of endorsing a target of a 20 per cent reduction in these emissions by 2000.”
Grattan, M. 1992. Coalition To Rethink Greenhouse Policy. The Age, 13 February, p.3.
Both Labor and the Liberals went to the 1993 Federal Election with studied/active indifference to the ‘green’ vote…
Also on this day –
In 1998 Monash University’s APEC Study Centre holds a conference on “Kyoto — The Impact on Australia” 12-13 February 1998 http://www.apec.org.au/docs/daley.pdf Despite having extracted an excellent deal for itself, the Howard government would sign the Protocol, but, infamously, never ratify it. APEC was a key promoter/amplifier of the ‘economic doom if we ratify’ meme…
In 2011, in a sign of things to come, the climate wars move into higher gear. Here’s a snippet from Phillip Chubb’s essential “Power Failure”
The committee [MPCCC] had met five times between October and February and, in the fifth meeting, agreement had been reached between the government and the Greens on the broad framework of what was to become the Clean Energy Future (CEF) package. The direction of Australia’s next attempt to put a price on carbon pollution was becoming clear.
But the peace was shattered when, on 12 February 2011, six months after Labor’s brush with defeat at the August election, a story appeared in The Australian based on a leak. The suspicion this triggered was to make progress much harder. The story, headlined ‘Labor to impose carbon tax next year, ETS in 2015’ was for Gillard and the new climate change minister, Greg Combet, unpleasantly accurate.