Turnbull brings a green tinge to Libshttp://news.smh.com.au/national/turnbull-brings-a-green-tinge-to-libs-20080916-4hti.html
Green groups are cautiously celebrating the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull to the Liberal leadership, saying he could "green up" the party's climate change policy. Mr Turnbull has been one of the Liberals' more prominent voices on climate issues, pushing for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and backing emissions trading.
John Hepburn, climate campaigner with Greenpeace, welcomed the transition from former leader Brendan Nelson to Mr Turnbull.
"We're cautiously optimistic that Malcolm Turnbull will show some more leadership on climate change than Nelson has," Mr Hepburn told AAP.
"Of all of the leadership contenders within the Liberal Party, I think Malcolm Turnbull seems to understand climate change better than the others."
The Liberals face some big decisions on emissions trading - and the government could end up relying on them to pass the scheme in the Senate.
Key issues are a start date, and how soft the scheme should be.
The government plans to start emissions trading in 2010.
The Liberals want to start emissions trading in 2011-12, with a soft start if necessary.
Mr Turnbull has been a relatively strong supporter of emissions trading since he was environment minister in the Howard government. He spruiked a start date of 2011 and including petrol in the scheme.
During last year's election campaign, it was leaked that Mr Turnbull had unsuccessfully pushed his party to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This year, he refused to back Dr Nelson's push to delay emissions trading until heavy-polluting nations took action.
Sarah Maddison, a political scientist with the University of NSW, predicted some fiery debates on climate in the coalition party room.
"I think Malcolm Turnbull is a little bit greener, a little bit lefter, a little bit more liberal than Nelson was in a whole range of policy areas," Dr Maddison told AAP.
"He does seem to have a deeper and more genuine commitment to aspects of addressing climate change in Australia than some of his coalition colleagues."
However, Dr Maddison said it remained to be seen how much support Mr Turnbull could garner from his back bench on climate.
The party could continue to oppose the government over some climate issues and point to the economic pitfalls of emissions trading, she said.
After his leadership win, Mr Turnbull said his party was reviewing all its policies - including on climate change.
"We will hold (Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd to account on his climate change policies and we will go to the next election with (an informed) climate change policy," he said.
The opposition supported a "properly designed" emissions trading scheme introduced by 2012 at the latest, Mr Turnbull said.
"We have not changed that policy but we will be reviewing all of our policies in the light of our policy development work ... and in the light of political and other events," he said.
© 2008 AAP
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