Did Climate Change Bring Down the Australian Government?

The ruling Labour Party was handed a stinging defeat in national elections in Australia today, with Kevin Rudd’s center-left party losing soundly to a center-right coalition headed by John Abbott. Interestingly, climate change policy—or more specifically, a carbon tax—was one of the central issues at stake in the election. The ruling Labour Party, which had seem three separate leadership changes as a result of its support for a controversial tax on carbon output, was pummeled in the polls. This video, produced by The Guardian’s Environmental Network, highlights some of the issues.

There are obviously a number of issues at play here, and it’s difficult to pin the election outcome solely on the Labour Party’s climate change policy. But the election outcome does suggest that Australian voters, at least in the present, are not supportive of a carbon tax.

What do you think? Would you support a tax on carbon emissions in an effort to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions? What lessons might American political parties draw from the Australian experience? Does this election make addressing climate change more difficult? Why? Take the poll or leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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