So a final vote on the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme has been delayed until August at the earliest by the Senate, courtesy of a Coalition desperate to avoid splitting on the issue, a climate sceptic Family First senator and Nick Xenophon’s demand for further modelling.

The delay is no more than this Government deserves, given it has played politics with the ETS from the outset and seen it primarily as a tool to damage the Coalition and only secondarily as a mechanism to address climate change. Even now, in persisting with a link with its Renewable Energy Target bill, the Government continues its stunts and spin.

At no stage has this Government acted in good faith in regard to its ETS, except when negotiating with big polluters, whose handouts have been vouchsafed and ratcheted up repeatedly. The Coalition is doing little different from the Government in placing political advantage ahead of principle. The only difference is that at least the Coalition — like the Greens — correctly regards the Bill as it stands as bad policy that will harm the economy for no environmental benefit.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey