Political turmoil and the fate of Australia’s greenhouse gas pricing scheme

Vol. 45 No. 1

Claudia O’Brien is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and chair of the Air Quality & Climate Change Practice. Aron Potash and Michele Leonelli are associates in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Hannah Cary was a summer associate in the Los Angeles office and is a third-year law student at the USC Gould School of Law (JD, 2014).

Editor’s Note: As this article was in final preparation, the Australian election was held on September 7, 2013. The governing Labor Party lost to its rival, a coalition group headed by Tony Abbott. This article discusses some possible changes that Mr. Abbott and his coalition group may make to Australia’s current regulation of greenhouse gases.

Political turmoil in Australia has created great uncertainty as to the fate of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) pricing scheme. In late June 2013, the governing Australian Labor Party replaced Prime Minister Julia Gillard with her Labor Party rival, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. This switch came fewer than three months before federal elections now scheduled for September 2013. The Labor Party made the replacement because the opposition party’s ascendancy looked near-certain if Gillard had remained the Labor Party leader.

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