For Rudd, now it’s personal

November 23, 2009

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd may be a shoo-in to return to office late next year, but this week his reputation as a transformative leader will be on the line.

The Senate will vote whether Australia will cut its carbon output through an emissions trading system, or ETS. The debate is being closely watched overseas, particularly in the United States where lawmakers are debating their own proposals. The carbon trading scheme was a key promise of Rudd’s 2007 election campaign and he wants the ETS laws passed before December’s global climate talks in Copenhagen.

As political commentator Peter Hartcher says, defeat for Rudd would mean his claim to be a leader “for the future” would face a serious challenge. Rudd is an internationalist, and sets his standards beyond the domestic realm. The former diplomat who speaks Mandarin has laid out a plan to win Australia a temporary seat at the U.N. Security Council, has secured Australia a position as a lead negotiator for a new climate pact at Copenhagen next month, and has been actively pursuing a deeper Australian role in Asian diplomatic circles with his push for an Asia Pacific community.

For Rudd, this week’s vote on the ETS is more than just domestic politics, this is something with global ramifications. And for a man seeking to burnish his internationalist image, this makes it personal.

4 comments

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Mr Rudd is filling this Country up with ‘so-called’ refugees.THERE IS ONLY ONE CERTAIN WAY to STOP CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!!!!!World Population Control.Restrict ALL Married Couples to TWO Children per Couple.Apply TAX relief to those who have LESS.Country’s that have “child allowance,” stop any payments other than for TWO CHILDREN.All the other $billions will be 40% wasted.

Posted by Peter Wignall-Australia | Report as abusive

The future of Mother Earth hinges on our ability to curb global population and defuse climate change.The global economic meltdown will haunt us for decades to come.Big banks BAD…

Posted by Ruben Abreu | Report as abusive

KRudd is just trying to introduce a new tax on the Australian public… if Governments seriously believe in global warming then they just need to legislate out the heaviest contributing industries… that wont work for KRudd and his Kronies as that means taking on the coal mining industry which contributes a lot of money to the two political parties here

Posted by peter | Report as abusive

Jeremy Laurence is assuming that Kevin Rudd is doing all this for his own health. Perhaps a less cynical view might be that Rudd actually believes he will be enabling a better future for peoples in whatever region they live.Even if you don’t believe in climate change caused by human activities, wouldn’t it be nicer to have clean air ?

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive