Australia's Green New Deal Has to Wait on the Economy

Last fall, the United Nations Environment Program started bandying about the term "Global Green New Deal." The idea referenced President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Great Depression-ending efforts; only this time around, those efforts would invest in green technology to mitigate both the global economic crisis and global warming.

Many national governments have climate regulation timetables that could go by the name "Green New Deal." Such efforts feature plans for cap-and-trade systems and incentives to encourage green-collar jobs. Australia's plan, though, has been shelved for now -- ironically a casualty of the very economic crisis it's meant to help soften.

According to Green Inc., Kevin Rudd, Australia's Prime Minister, announced Monday that the introduction of a cap-and-trade system would be delayed until mid-2011 and modified to allow new concessions to certain industries (like close-to-free emissions permits). Businesses had protested regulations during the current economic state, and it seemed unlikely the Australian senate would back the bill. Rudd, however, said the delay would be tempered by more ambitious goals in the future.

Components of the United States' "Green New Deal" are running at similarly slow speeds. President Obama has stressed that U.S. climate legislation may take longer than many had expected.

Read more at New Deal How Carbon Trading Works What are green-collar jobs? What's the difference between a recession and a depression?