SYDNEY Minister Mark Butler on Labor’s Climate Change Strategy

Climate change policy is at last back on the political agenda. Kevin Rudd has stated that if re-elected he will shift to a floating carbon price and a full emissions trading scheme from 1 July 2014, a year earlier than currently legislated. The political value of the proposed move has been considerable and the negative aspects relatively small and manageable. But is it enough and will it work?

Despite the bitterness and division that has enveloped the climate change debate in Australian politics, the 2020 emissions reduction target of both main parties is the same. Both accept that Australia must contribute to the long-term objective of keeping global average temperature increases to less than 2 degrees.

This public discussion with Mark Butler, Minister for Climate Change, explored how the Labor Government intends to achieve the target most efficiently and how this would prepare Australia for the long haul of addressing the climate change challenge. After his opening remarks, Mr Butler was joined in conversation by Grattan Institute Energy Program Director Tony Wood.