Onus On Emerging Economies To Reduce Reliance On Australian Coal: Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd after serving Australia as the prime minister twice - 2007–10 and 2013-13 has since been active in regional and global foreign policy. Rudd is rumoured to be interested in throwing his hat into the ring for the post of UN Secretary-General. Here he is in conversation with BOOM Founder-editor Govindraj Ethiraj on the increasing cooperation between India-Australia, his country's energy policy, challenges facing the UN and more.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says that countries like India, U.S., Europe, Australia and China are on the same page, sharing a common responsibility of bringing down global carbon emissions, as agreed at the Paris Accord in December. He emphasises that it is essential to act urgently to curb climate change. The best way to deal with this is by giving renewable energy industry a strong start. Enforcement of mandatory, legally enforceable renewable energy targets like enacted in Australia should be considered.
Decreasing carbon emissions is a challenge particularly when emerging economies like China and India are still heavily dependent on conventional energy sources - coal. The critical challenge is to impose carbon price by either a carbon tax, an emissions trading scheme or by an arrangement that causes governments and firms to understand the real price of carbon. Countries have to work collaboratively on carbon capture technologies.
Rudd theorises that an effective coal purchase price within the economy will lead to higher levels of efficiency and cleaner energy technology. Energy efficiency would direct the decisions of buyers and sellers of coal. An example worth mentioning here is that Chinese imports of Australian coal has gone down partly due to China's own clean energy regime.
He points out with a slowing China and recovering U.S. economy, India-Australia should cooperate beyond traditional sectors of engagement. The Indian diaspora in Australia can act as an anchor for bilateral co-operation. Australia's attractive domain of life-sciences, health sciences offers scores of opportunities.
Rudd is rumoured to be considering running for the UN Secretary-General's post. On asked to point out the key challenges present in the U.N. structure he said that the United Nations diplomatic and security needs to become a preventative one rather than reactive.
He also believes that both private and public capital are required to achieve the sustainable development goals.
Rudd says the UN should look at formulating a better approach which looks at source countries, neighbouring countries, transit countries and destination countries to pave way for better sharing of global burden.
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