Germany’s Angela Merkel has publicly moved away from the goal of reaching a legally binding climate change agreement, while Australian PM Kevin Rudd has reportedly shelved cap & trade legislation for 3 years.

Angela Merkel gives up binding carbon treaties

Dirk Kurbjuweit, Christian Schwägerl and Gerald Traufetter
Der Spiegel
April 27, 2010

Frustrated by the climate change conference in December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quietly moving away from her goal of a binding agreement on limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius. She has also sent out signals at the EU level that she no longer supports the idea of Europe going it alone.

Merkel will no longer endeavor to contractually implement the 2-degree target — in other words, to reach a legally binding agreement with specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. She doesn’t want to be snubbed again because she has realized that important countries won’t lend their support the next time around either. This was confirmed two weeks ago at the nuclear summit in Washington by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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Lawrence Solomon: Australia won’t cap and trade

Lawrence Solomon
National Post
April 27, 2010

Seeing countries around the world back away from their climate change commitments, and seeing his own electoral support crumble, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that Australia will be shelving its cap and trade program for at least three years, until after the next election. “That will provide the Australian government at the time with a better position to assess the level of global action on climate change,” he told the Australian press.

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In recent weeks, Rudd has been embarrassed by decisions by the US and Japanese governments to put climate change on the back burner and alarmed by the growing opposition at home to climate change legislation. His once popular plans to cut back emissions by 5% by 2020, which were scheduled to begin next year, have been twice rejected by Australia’s Senate faced certain defeat in a third vote that was expected in several weeks.

Once the darling of the environmental movement, Rudd is now widely seen as ineffectual. A poll commissioned by the Climate Institute and the Conservation Foundation found that just 36% of voters saw Rudd as the best person to handle climate issues, and that 40% found no difference between his Labour government and opposition conservatives. Other polling shows the opposition gaining in the public opinion polls, as an increasingly skeptical public turns against the climate change orthodoxy.

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