Can you imagine an Australian Environment Minister even mouthing these words?
The government has launched an outspoken attack on major airlines for refusing to take climate change seriously, branding Ryanair “the irresponsible face of capitalism” and describing the attitude of major American airlines “a disgrace”.
Environment minister Ian Pearson also warned that British Airways was “only just about playing ball” in the fight to reduce carbon emissions. His language is strikingly tougher on some in the cheap flights industry than the prime minister’s: Tony Blair has appeared extremely reluctant to be seen to be curtailing their growth.
But the minister is determined to stand up to the intense lobbying by parts of the airline industry, especially its efforts to delay market-based curbs being placed on its emissions.
He is also known to be angry that Lufthansa, the German airline, is opposing curbs even though the German government of Angela Merkel is making the fight against climate change a central issue of its G8 presidency.