That’s right, Rudd’s targets of 5% by 2020, from 2000 levels mean almost nothing.

According to the UN(1), Australia’s 1990 emissions totalled 416.2Mt. In 2000 it was 495.2Mt – an increase of ~19%.

A 5% cut from 2000 levels is approximately a 13% increase from 1990 levels. Even a 15% cut from 2000 levels is a 1% increase on 1990 levels.

We need to be dramatically cutting our emissions, not increasing them.

The targets the government has announced fall within Garnaut’s 550ppm range, even though the IPCC and other scientific reports are saying that even a 450ppm target will fall short of saving the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu, and result in eventual melting of a large percentage of the world’s ice caps and glaciers.

Rudd and Co, in the lead up to the election, promised swift action on climate change. So far, apart from some loose symbolic gestures, Labor hasn’t done anything that the Liberal Party wouldn’t have been forced to do anyway. Weak.

Some Rising Tide crew slammed Rudd during his speech, shouting “NO!” as soon as he announced the target, and then continuing to interrupt him until they were dragged out. Some Brisbaners stages an office occupation of Rudd’s Brisbane office during the speech too.

At least there was some decent media – nearly everyone slamming the government, even the Oz, in an online opinion piece. SBS had decent coverage of the protests. Congratulations on NBN (NineMSNs version wasn’t quite as good) TV News in Newcastle too, for some really good pieces on the announcement. TV news reporting is rarely as balanced as that.

(1) (p. 16)