From: Herald Sun
Published March 5, 2009 09:04 AM

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's green pledge was all hot air

WHEN KEVIN Rudd took to a UN stage in Bali, 2007, to announced he would ratify the Kyoto Protocol, it was a moment that received rapturous applause.

But the only thing that vanished in the year that followed the PM's grand gesture was the Federal Government's credibility on tackling global warming while stimulating the economy to move to a carbon-free future.

The ineffective climate change policy Mr Rudd conjured can be partly blamed on corporatised greenies -- the Climate Institute, Clean Energy Council, WWF and the Australian Conservation Foundation -- who were so mesmerised by the PM's smoke-and-mirrors rhetoric that they failed to provide him with the powerful message he needed to create meaningful renewable energy incentives.


Perversely, what each of these so-called friends of the environment has done is to help keep alive the dream of burning coal indefinitely by supporting -- or not speaking out against -- the phantom technology that is carbon capture and storage.

In the US, there are now more jobs in the wind power industry than in the entire coal industry.

President Barack Obama is determined to fast-track investments in renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, in a bid to wean the nation off carbon energy by providing $US150 billion ($A236.31 billion) in incentive funding across 10 years.

"It's a strategy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced," he said.

In Spain last year, 3.1 gigawatts of capacity from solar panels were added to the grid -- that's equal to half of the output of Victoria's coal-fired power stations.

Wind power capacity in Spain climbed to 16.7 gigawatts last year, or nearly three times the output of LaTrobe Valley generators.

In nuclear-free Denmark, a nation of just 5.5 million people, there are 2500 clean energy companies employing 33,000 people. The Danes, who will host the next round of UN climate talks in December, began transforming their energy sector away from (Australian) coal decades ago.

Finn Mortensen, the head of public private partnership Climate Consortium Denmark, told Brave New World this week that the clean energy sector contributed 10 per cent of total exports or a whopping $15 billion a year.

Further, without bothering to factor in anything as mythical as clean coal, the Danes will produce 20 per cent of their energy from renewable sources by 2011 and are aiming for 50 per cent by 2025.

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