Article in The Australian:
NEXT week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum meeting in Sydney won’t be its last, but if we accept Kevin Rudd’s view of the world then, like John Howard, its days may be numbered.
The press release accompanying Rudd’s speech to the Australian Institute of International Affairs on Monday bore the headline, “APEC’S Future: Confront the Economic Challenge of Climate Change” . According to Labor’s Great Helmsman, if it fails to embrace “real action” on climate change, APEC has “little future”.
What does real action mean? To quote Rudd: “APEC must set concrete emissions targets, as it languishes behind the European Union and the G8 on tackling the economic impact of climate change.”
This is an interesting comparison, for reasons I will come to in a moment. But we already know that setting action plans in concrete is not APEC’s modus operandi.
China and the other Asian developing economies don’t want anything to do with Kyoto-style targets, which would cripple their economic growth. Bringing their living standards up to those of the West is their greatest economic challenge, not climate change.
A leaked draft of the Sydney Declaration to be released at the end of next week’s APEC meeting speaks only of a long-term aspirational target for emissions reductions. So presumably one of the early actions of a Rudd government will be to withdraw from APEC, an institution with little future………….