07 September 2010

When is Australia's Next Election?

Australia's election is over.  Two independent members of parliament have thrown their support behind Julia Gillard (above) and the Labor Party to form a government by the slimmest of margins.

Climate policy was an issue for the previous government, leading to a loss of trust in the previous prime minister, and was among Gillard's missteps leading up to the election.  What happens next is unclear, however it looks like the Green party is ready to flex a bit of muscle by pushing out Labor's climate change minister Penny Wong

Much remains unclear.  Here is how Reuters summarized the agreement on climate between Gillard and the Greens:
Climate policy is the biggest area to change under the Labor-Greens agreement. Gillard has agreed to set up a new climate committee of lawmakers and experts, who will work toward a policy to price carbon pollution. That will now take precedence over Gillard's election policy of holding an assembly of 150 people, to build a community consensus for carbon trading. The agreement makes no mention of government plans for carbon trading, or the Greens' wish for an interim carbon tax.
The Greens did do Gillard the favor of relegating her roundly criticized "citizens' assembly" to a historical footnote.

The really important question, of course, is whether my analysis of Australia's proposed emissions reduction targets gets published before the next election occurs.  I handicap the odds at less than 50-50.  You can see an updated version here:
Pielke, Jr., R.A., 2010 (submitted). An Evaluation of the Targets and Timetables of the Proposed Australian Emissions Trading Scheme, Environmental Science & Policy.