By Giles Parkinson
From The Spectator: 24 March 2010- The greatest worry for members of the Australian clean-tech community is not that they have already missed two or three opportunities to take the lead in low carbon technologies, it’s that that they might miss the next two or three as well.
That seemed to be the underlying, if not unstated, fear at the sixth annual Australian Cleantech Forum in Melbourne this week. Amid all the bright ideas and the optimism of several hundred developers, investors, advisors and others – the missionaries, mercenaries and misfits as one person delightfully painted them – was the nagging question of why it was that the clean-tech boom that is claiming the lion’s share of investment funds in Asia, the US and Europe, doesn’t seem to be catching on down under.
This might come something as a shock to those politicians and business people who rail against the idea that Australia should rush headlong into a brave new world of clean technologies and changed business paradigms. Indeed, it is something of a myth that Australia was taking any sort of leadership role, noted Harinder Sidhu, chief advisor international for the Federal Department of Climate Change. “That is patently not the case,” she said, reinforcing the government’s argument for market based mechanisms to provide some incentive for investment, and it’s determined pursuit of an international treaty.