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Climate deal's getting warmer -

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Climate deal's getting warmer

Lyndal Curtis reported this story on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 12:14:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister has called for world leaders to show political courage at the
climate change talks in Copenhagen.

The Government is also pressing the Coalition to quickly come to an agreement on an Australian
emissions trading scheme.

There is optimism that a deal will be struck on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, but getting
that deal through the Coalition party room and the Senate is proving a challenge.

Kevin Rudd says it's crunch time for the nation and the world.

Chief Political Correspondent, Lyndal Curtis, reports.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Debate on the legislation for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is underway
again in the Senate.

HARRY EVANS: Government business order of the day, number one Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
Bill 2009 and associated bills. Second reading adjourned debate.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Negotiations for a global deal in Copenhagen are continuing.

KEVIN RUDD: In a further video conference last night with the Prime Minister of Denmark and others,
we are working towards, as hard as we can a Copenhagen agreement.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Talks for a domestic deal on emissions trading are also still going on as well...the
Liberals negotiator Ian Macfarlane:

IAN MACFARLANE: We'll have meetings this afternoon and tomorrow and again on Friday and possibly
over the weekend.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And there is optimism from the Prime Minister and the Minister assisting on climate
change on the prospects for a domestic deal.

KEVIN RUDD: We are confident we can reach an agreement.

GREG COMBET: We are hopeful that things are going to move forward.

LYNDAL CURTIS: There's optimism too from the Prime Minister about the global prospects after the
United States President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao pledged to work together
towards a successful outcome in Copenhagen.

KEVIN RUDD: It is encouraging what we have heard out of Beijing in the last 24 hours.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Mr Rudd believes there may be an agreement from Copenhagen that is more than simply
words.

KEVIN RUDD: I think there is a danger that some assume that the first exercise we are talking
about, this Copenhagen agreement should somehow drift off into a statement of anodyne political
principals.

Let me tell you, the direction which we are pushing hard, which the Danes are pushing hard, which I
believe the Americans are pushing hard, is for an operational framework agreement capable of giving
real guidance to technical negotiators to translate into a legally binding global treaty.

LYNDAL CURTIS: It's a tough task for the Prime Minister - getting a deal either globally or
locally.

Ian Macfarlane says striking an agreement with the Government on the CPRS may be the least of his
worries; the bigger battle will be convincing his party.

IAN MACFARLANE: That's always been the case, I've always said and I think I may have said on Four
Corners that no-one should underestimate the size of the challenge of getting this past the party
room. It will need to be a good deal if the party room are to accept it.

South Australian Labor MPs Amanda Rishworth and Tony Zappia believe they already see evidence of
climate change.

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Well back home in South Australia, we are seeing record heat waves in November,
this is before we've even hit Christmas and today we've seen a catastrophic bushfire danger
warning.

And there is no doubt that climate change will continue to impact these types of conditions in
South Australia.

TONY ZAPPIA: We've had a heat wave there last week, we're having another heat wave this week, it's
likely that as a result of climate change, we will see more extreme weather conditions.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And the latest snapshot by the Global Carbon Project published in the journal Nature
Geoscience shows emissions continuing to rise at about 2 per cent a year.

The Western Australian Liberal Dennis Jensen simply doesn't believe it.

DENNIS JENSEN: The simple fact is these are getting to be ridiculous scenarios.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Greg Combet has had some words for the sceptics in the Liberal Party.

GREG COMBET: This is a real problem, the consensus on the climate science is overwhelming,
notwithstanding the scepticism of some in the Liberal Party, but we have a major threat here,
Australia has a lot at risk and we need to get on with the job.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But the sceptics about the emissions trading scheme in the Senate are many...the
legislation as it exists is virtually friendless.

The Greens Leader Bob Brown thinks it is a failure.

BOB BROWN: If we fail, our failure will haunt humanity until the end of time.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And Liberal Senators Michaelia Cash and Chris Back are similarly dismissive.

MICHAELIA CASH: The bill that we have before us is absolutely self defeating. It is not good public
policy and under no circumstances should it be supported.

CHRIS BACK: The presentation of this bill in this place at this time is the height of hypocrisy and
if passed could visit on the Australian people and scourge the highest taxes, the greatest loss of
jobs, the worst impact on our economy and the most severe assault on our way of living.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Ian Macfarlane is hoping he can convince his colleagues to come on board.

IAN MACFARLANE: It's a case for me to ensure that I can convince them on the day that this is a
reasonable compromise and one we should accept.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Kevin Rudd is calling for political courage from a much wider group.

KEVIN RUDD: What's required is a bit of political courage for everyone collectively to step up to
the plate, put behind the familiar, put behind the fears and concerns of the past and embrace
instead the opportunities of the future.

We're at one of those crossover points in the world, one of the crossover points in Australia.
Let's rise to the challenge rather than simply succumb here at home and abroad to the politics of
fear.

LYNDAL CURTIS: There are five-and-a-half days remaining scheduled for the Senate debate...and less
than three weeks until Copenhagen.

ELEANOR HALL: Lyndal Curtis in Canberra.