Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter

Advertisement

Markets

Jul 12, 2011

When international permits are OK or not OK

The new carbon package deals with the issue of international permits far better than the CPRS did. Funny the Coalition is complaining about it.

Share

The Coalition’s retreat from economic reality has taken a peculiar turn on the issue of international carbon permits.

Under the carbon price package announced on Sunday, businesses will be able to use international permits to meet up to 50% of their carbon emissions obligations once the fixed initial period ends in 2015.

On Sunday, Tony Abbott appeared to rule out any use of international permits to enable the Coalition to meet the same emissions target as the government, a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020. No one outside the Coalition believes their “direct action” plan will enable Australia to meet the target, and Malcolm Turnbull has suggested it will have to massively increase in cost in order to do so.

At the same media conference, Greg Hunt gave a different answer to his leader on international permits, ruling out only the purchase by government of international permits, a disingenuous answer given under neither the CPRS nor the current package will the government directly buy international permits.

But that leads us to Hunt’s problem, because international trading is critical to Hunt’s “soil magic” proposal under which most of the burden of meeting the 5% reduction in emissions by 2020 would be met by somehow sequestering and retaining millions of tonnes of carbon in famland, and verifying it. Under the Kyoto Protocol, such abatement isn’t accepted, reflecting the undeveloped science of actually verifying that sequestered carbon stays put. Hunt supports the government’s effort to have forms of biosequestration form part of the new international agreement to replace Kyoto.

So, there are international permits that the Coalition likes because it suits its own purposes, and those that they don’t like. Indeed, there’s an interesting mix of jingoism and sanctimony to Hunt’s complaints on Monday that international permits would form part of Australia’s emissions abatement task.

When did the Coalition suddenly become so holier-than-thou about international permits?

Well, quite recently. Under the CPRS, there was no limit on the level of international permits that firms could use to fulfill their obligations. If firms could find a cheap source of international permits, they could stick to business-as-usual and meet all their obligations under the scheme through no domestic abatement whatsoever.

Strangely given its sudden outrage at the use of international permits, the Coalition didn’t have a problem with this. Indeed, under the CPRS-Intensity model developed by Frontier Economics for the Coalition and Nick Xenophon, they would have relied even more heavily on foreign-sourcing of permits than would have happened under the CPRS. That was one of the reasons why they could claim “CPRS Intensity” would have had less economic impact domestically than the CPRS — because less domestic abatement happened under it.

The point of international permits is that they enable lowest-cost abatement. Countries where abatement can be achieved at a lower cost than Australia can provide us with abatement that is as effective as our own. In Hunt’s own words from last year “a tonne of carbon is a tonne of carbon”. This is particularly beneficial for Australia, which is so heavily dependent on cheap coal that abatement costs will be higher than for many other countries.

So in railing against international permits, the Coalition is going even further down its bizarre path of opposition to market mechanisms and minimising costs — except, of course, where it suits it.

The problem with international permits, of course, is verification. The Greens sought, and secured, tighter requirements for international permits under the current package than under the CPRS. Under the package, Kyoto-compliant permits from nuclear power and large-scale hydro-electric outside EU guidelines won’t be permitted and the government can add or remove the types of permits allowed to maintain the environmental integrity of the scheme. The Climate Change Authority will also have a role in determining the types of international permits allowed.

The other problem with international permits, as suggested above, is that they can be a substitute for any domestic abatement activity at all. By limiting international permits to 50%, the scheme establishes a baseline for domestic abatement that didn’t exist under the CPRS. For an economy such as Australia’s, that is significantly more emissions-intensive than almost any other economy in the world, the task of decarbonisation requires some spur. We can’t entirely rely on the rainforests of developing countries to fund our carbon reliance.

That the Coalition had no problem with relying on foreign permits under the CPRS and wants international agreements for its own preferred type of abatement, but now attacks them to the extent it suits their agenda, is a particularly impressive combination of economic irrationalism and hypocrisy. Far better than the CPRS, this package strikes a balance between sourcing lowest-cost abatement and driving domestic decarbonisation.

Advertisement

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

91 comments

Leave a comment

91 thoughts on “When international permits are OK or not OK

  1. Michael

    It seems that the Labor-Green Carbon Tax then Trading Scheme will be very reliant on imported carbon credits. Surely we can do better than simply outsource abatement to developing nations.
    Frank Jotzo had this to say in Climate Spectator today.
    “Which brings us to quantities of abatement and trading. Treasury has some rather sobering numbers. Under the core scenario, domestic emissions are up by 12 per cent from 2000 levels, with a $29 price at 2020 (in 2010 dollars, equating to $37 in nominal terms). Almost two thirds of the abatement task – the difference between business-as-usual and the 5 per cent target – would be fulfilled from internationally-sourced emissions units. According to Treasury’s model, it would take a $62 ($79 nominal) carbon price to get domestic emissions down by 4 per cent relative to 2000. The model results for 2050 show the same broad picture. In the core scenario, a carbon price of $131 (2010 dollars) results in a 2 per cent reduction in emissions relative to 2000 – while the national target is minus 80 per cent.”

  2. Suzanne Blake

    Thanks Bernard.

    Dont worry, its just another FAILED Labor policy like:

    1. Insulation – 4 deaths and Hundreds of millions waste for fix ups
    2. BER – huge waste $1.5 billion, regardless if its ‘only’ 6% of the total spend
    3. Grocery Watch
    4. Fuel Watch
    5. Cash for Clunkers
    6. Green Loans
    7 . Climate Change People Commitee
    8. Cash Spash 1 & 2 with the money going to overseas residents
    9 . Mining Tax and the go stop uncertainty and the extra penalty for small – medium miners
    10. East Timor solution con

    and the 30 others.

  3. Jimmy

    Michael – Did you even read the article?

  4. Jimmy

    Suzanne – “2. BER – huge waste $1.5 billion, regardless if its ‘only’ 6% of the total spend” 6% of the total $16b spend is $960m not $1.5b and you can’t call all of it(or really any of it) “waste” as it achieved an important goal “speed” which prevented a loss of govt revenue through decline in growth.
    As for the rest, the MRRT will be in legislation within a year, 3,4,5,& 7 are unimportant, 8 was remarkably successful (just ask struggling retailers), 6 was really to successful but should of been done better, 1 could of been done better and 10 is still a work in progress.

    As for the carbon price to be a failed policy, it will be with us for decades to come no matter what Tony says.

  5. davidk

    Coalition hypocritical? surely not. I doubt we’ll hear anything sensible from them until malcolm opens his mouth.

  6. bluegreen

    You have to remember that Malcolm Turnbull when environment minister started seeking regional agreement particularly with Indonesia over Forest Carbon. Seems total ingenuous to backflip on the program that you started and where quite proud of at the time.

  7. bluegreen

    Remember this from Sept 2007:

    [Mr Downer and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull presented Dr Yudhoyono with a rare Wollombi pine, a species which dates from the time of dinosaurs, to mark the initiative which will see the planting of millions of trees on carbon-rich peat land in Indonesia’s Kalimantan region.

    The 30-year project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700 million tonnes.

    The Australian and Indonesian governments, as well as mining giant BHP Billiton, are going into partnership on the project, which is being funded from the federal government’s Global Initiative on Forests and Climate.

    The project will preserve 70,000 hectares of peat land forests in the Kalimantan region, re-flood 200,000 hectares of dried peat and plant up to 100 million new trees on rehabilitated peat land – and, the government believes, could cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than Australia’s total annual output.

    Australia will contribute up to $30 million of the $100 million initiative. The two nations are expecting to raise the rest of the money from the private sector, other countries and non-government organisations.]

    http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=83772

  8. Mark Duffett

    The Greens sought, and secured, tighter requirements for international permits under the current package than under the CPRS. Under the package, Kyoto-compliant permits from nuclear power and large-scale hydro-electric outside EU guidelines won’t be permitted…

    This is utterly ridiculous and disgraceful. That the fossil Greens have set themselves as part of the climate problem, not the solution, has never been made clearer than here.

  9. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    I trusted your mathematics of last week.

    The BER wasted 11% then $1.5billion.

    The Washington Post in 1922 predicted that sea levels would inundate NYC by 2000.

    Whoops.

  10. Mark Duffett

    The Greens sought, and secured, tighter requirements for international permits under the current package than under the CPRS. Under the package, Kyoto-compliant permits from nuclear power and large-scale hydro-electric outside EU guidelines won’t be permitted…

    This is utterly ridiculous and disgraceful. That the fossil Greens have set themselves as part of the climate problem, not the solution, has never been made clearer than here.

  11. Jimmy

    Suzanne – It’s not my mathematics, it’s Brad Orgill who says there was a 5-6% premium paid. The problem isn’t the percentage it’s the dollar figure. $1.5b is a figure made up by the Australian and has no basis in fact.
    “The Washington Post in 1922 predicted that sea levels would inundate NYC by 2000.” Is your point that we have had no advances in science since then, The Washington Psot (whatever there scientific credientials were) were wrong so therefore the scientific community must be wrong now?

    As for the Libs position discussed in this article it just further demonstrates that “political pragmatism not policy” is what is driving them. It doesn’t matter if what we say is true, consistent with what we have previously said or with our beliefs all that matters is winning.

  12. Frank Campbell

    How about a piece from Keane on the policy paralysis caused by the permanent climate climax?

    Abbott, Gillard and Brown are like three dogs stuck together.

    Everything else is either ignored or seen through the prism of “climate”.

    Yet we all know that nothing done here will affect climate in the least. Nor the actions of any other state.

    We can do something about the daily rape of our own environment.

  13. Captain Planet

    @ Suzanne Blake,

    What you are doing is called trolling.

    Do you have any commentary on the subject matter of the article?

  14. Jimmy

    Captian – Suzanne know exactly what she is doing, she tipped “her” hand the other day when I said that she lete Bolt and Jones do her thinking for her and her response was word for word the same as a previous poster I levelled the same accuasation against.

  15. Captain Planet

    @ Mark Duffet,

    From the article,

    …and the government can add or remove the types of permits allowed to maintain the environmental integrity of the scheme. The Climate Change Authority will also have a role in determining the types of international permits allowed.

    I agree that the Greens have gone a step too far in disallowing International abatement from Nuclear Power and certain types of hydro.

    Note, however, that the Greens have (quite reasonably) allowed the legislation to permit future governments and the Climate Change Authority to reverse this prohibition.

    Greens voters are largely anti – nuclear, and the Greens went to the election with policies which strongly oppose the proliferation of industrial and military applications of nuclear energy. It would be hypocritical of the Greens to enact legislation which actively encourages the proliferation of nuclear energy internationally in order to purchase international abatement for Australia. They are acting in accordance with the expectations of the voters who elected them, and the policy positions they stood for at the election.

    On the other hand, the Greens have (quite fairly) acknowledged that future governments may not hold such policies and may alter the mix of allowable international permits.

  16. Suzanne Blake

    @ Captain Planet

    I was talking about how the International Permits is a failed Labor policy, and so as to not get mauled for not providing evidence, I listed failed Labor policies, like

    1. Insulation – 4 deaths and Hundreds of millions waste for fix ups
    2. BER – huge waste $1.5 billion, regardless if its ‘only’ 11% of the total spend
    3. Grocery Watch
    4. Fuel Watch
    5. Cash for Clunkers
    6. Green Loans
    7 . Climate Change People Commitee
    8. Cash Spash 1 & 2 with the money going to overseas residents

    Why should our International credit be bought offshore when they could be bought onshore and encouraged onshore?

    9 . Mining Tax and the go stop uncertainty and the extra penalty for small – medium miners
    10. East Timor solution con

  17. Jimmy

    Suzanne – “I was talking about how the International Permits is a failed Labor policy, and so as to not get mauled for not providing evidence, I listed failed Labor policies” How does lisitng other “failed policies provide evidence of this policy being a failure, surely all the policies stand or fall on their own merits?
    “Why should our International credit be bought offshore when they could be bought onshore and encouraged onshore?” So when the Coalition was happy for “Under the CPRS, there was no limit on the level of international permits that firms could use to fulfill their obligations.” ths wasn’t a problem, it isn’t a problem that ” international trading is critical to Hunt’s “soil magic” proposal” but now it is a problem?

  18. Holden Back

    Jimmy, haven’t your heard the new Liberal Party and News Corp slogan?
    “When we do it, it’s funny”

  19. puddleduck

    Informative piece, thank you Mr K.

    Oh glory, “verification”. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages.

    Am I the only one seeing visions of imaginary forests in dodgy places in cash-strapped countries, being sold to the stupid, selfish first world nations who won’t cut their own emissions? Imaginary forests being sold over and over again.

  20. Lorry

    Susanne Blake – you forgot the most recent stuff up – No9 The set top box debacle (which proves they either don’t care or more importantly – they don’t get it).

    Jimmy – policy failure after policy failure is relevant – the red queen and co havn’t got a clue. the Krudd could not trust her and nor can the public. She and the rest of ALP cronies have “passion fingers” – they f— everythign they touch.

  21. Jimmy

    Holden – That explains why the pro workchoices Abbott wanted to remove rights from coal miners and steel workers and now he is here to save them!!

  22. CML

    @ JIMMY – of course you are correct. SB is a product of manipulation by Mr. rAbbott and brain-washing by Ltd. News. I wouldn’t waste your finger power if I were you – if she had half a brain, it would be lonely!!

  23. Suzanne Blake

    @ Lorry

    Sorry you are right, missed that Labor screw up as well.

    What have they done right since November 2007:

    1. Said sorry. Accepted
    2. Kept us out of GFC – NO, the previous Govt with $21 billion surplus did that and the 4 pillar banking system that Hawke / Keating setup.
    3. Increased Gillards Prime Minister and Cabinet department by 200 people taking it to near 1,000. That created 200 more jobs, to add to the other 700 wasted there. Go on Jimmy, tell us what the 1,000 people do in her department.
    4. Increased funding for mental health
    5. Given hundreds of millions in overseas aid, latest to South Sudan
    6. Sent Kevin Rudd to all four corner spruiking Australia (and himself) only to be sniggered at behind his back. Not to mention the carbon dioxide his taxpayer jet consumes.

    I am struggling for more. Perhaps the posters from ALP back room that subscribe and post here could help me.

    Then you had Gillard on Q&A last night, talking to the audience like schoolgirls and schoolboys, cleavered not answering all their questions, but spinning it to what she had to say.

    I did the Huthwaite Spin Selling couse in 1998, so know it well. But she is exposed now, and so does the rest of Australia, well 9 / 10 households.

  24. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    You will have to do better. I dont get Bolt or Jones where I live. They are in Sydney and Melbourne.

  25. Frank Campbell

    Speaking of daily rape of the environment, here’s a reminder that wind turbines are not simply an electrical fraud, they’re decimating birds and bats. Wolfe Island is in Canada…

    “Wolfe Island Bird Report #4

    Stantec/Transalta has just released the latest in their series of bird
    and bat reports on Wolfe Island. This is #4 in the series and covers
    the second half of 2010. The adjusted number of bird fatalities was a
    new high, 703. The adjusted number of bat fatalities was also a new
    high, 1878. Neither of these made the thresholds set up by our
    government.

    http://windfarmrealities.org/?p=1224

  26. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    @suzanne
    Oh my, I totally agree with you, I remember, back in the day, they said the introduction of the automobile would end decent society as we know it! The end of the Dreys! And I remember reading the local paper circa 1930 citing the introduction of morse code, and the fears that people would go mad from the incessant bleep bleep bloop! I’m glad to see that those fears were fully rationalised at the time with the proper science, as opposed to some stupid fearmongering and random cherry picking of statements intended to produce an illogical outcome

  27. Holden Back

    Jimmy, how gauche of you to suggest a lady takes advice from such as Bolt or Jones. Suzanne Blake clearly goes straight to the horse’s mouth of Uncle Rupert’s quality organ.

  28. blas femur

    @Suzanne, doubtless your real name is Jeremy and your pigeon chest is proudly adorned with a Young Liberal Ignoramus of the Month badge as you go about your daily trolling in your room at Daddy’s place. Good luck to you, unfortunately for you and Tony Wabbit just repeating something mindlessly doesn’t make it true. All it does is make you look like a pillock.

  29. Jimmy

    And there it is folks – “You will have to do better. I dont get Bolt or Jones where I live” The stock standard answer for liberal party stooges. It does seem amazing that someone who has access to the internet can’t get access to Bolt or Jones but there you go.

    Lorry – When I think of you I see an old man sitting in a rocking chair muttering “I don’t like this policy business, they had a policy years ago and it was no good so this policy will be the same, I like that other chap Abbott, he doesn’t have any of this policy rubbish just reassuring slogan’s”

  30. geomac

    SUZANNE BLAKE
    You ignore making comments on the theme of the article , fair enough. Usually doing that means I can ignore those posts and see what someone can actually contribute that might be of interest. One question I feel needs to be asked of you though and it deals with compassion , character and human decency. Do you support industrial manslaughter laws or like Abbott do you use four deaths as political ammunition ? Its plain you have no value on those lives when you use a federal policy to blame when local , state and federal standards were ignored by contractors in those fatalities. Charges were laid against those contractors. If indeed you had any concern for industrial deaths in general or more particular in the four you cite you would have investigated the facts. The once largely unregulated insulation industry has since the introduction of the government scheme improved and in fact has been strengthened during its run.
    Abbott used those deaths for base political purposes without any regard to truth or compassion for the families affected. He strongly opposes industrial manslaughter laws where employer negligence is the contributing factor in a workplace death. You like him forfeit any semblance of being honest , compassionate or concerned for those fatalities. Beneath contempt .

  31. TheTruthHurts

    So Gillards given the Greens a promise to shut down coal power stations.

    The irony of course is that at the same time we shut down our handful of dirty power stations, China will have opened a few hundred new ones(building 2 new coal power stations a WEEK).

    So we’ll dig the cheap coal out of the ground… but we can’t burn it, instead we ship it to the Chinese and Indians who burn it for us and then we make our power using the most expensive way possible to keep a few greenies in Melbourne happy.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

    [Dont worry, its just another FAILED Labor policy like:]

    11. Live Cattle Ban Knee-jerk reaction stuff up

    12. Malaysian Solution(66 Days and 404 boatpeople since the “imminent agreement” now and STILL counting!) Never-Never solution to go with the East Timor one. Whose up next? Fiji? Thailand? Burma? Anywhere but the one country that wants it, Nauru!

  32. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    I took a look at Alan Jones website, and he has podcasts with Wayne Swan, Tony Abbott and Monckton on Carbon Tax. Could not be bothered watching, whats your point? The only time I have listened to Alan Jones was when he was South Sydney coach (which is my team) and when he was working to save Souths after they were axed in the late 1990’s. What is your point?

    Took a look at Andrew Bolts. I dont read Herald Sun or live in Victoria, so no idea what he is on about. What is your point?

  33. Lorry

    Jimmy – your an idiot!

  34. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geomac

    “One question I feel needs to be asked of you though and it deals with compassion , character and human decency. Do you support industrial manslaughter laws or like Abbott do you use four deaths as political ammunition ? ”

    I dont support industrial or any manslaughter? Its not political ammunition. Its fact based on ill concieved, rushed, wastful, poor executed policy.

    “Its plain you have no value on those lives when you use a federal policy to blame when local , state and federal standards were ignored by contractors in those fatalities.”

    Regardless of who to blame and I believe its awaiting coronial inquest, the poorly conceived, rushed, wastful and poorly executed Federal policy was at the cornerstone of it.

    “Charges were laid against those contractors. If indeed you had any concern for industrial deaths in general or more particular in the four you cite you would have investigated the facts. The once largely unregulated insulation industry has since the introduction of the government scheme improved and in fact has been strengthened during its run.”

    It had to be, it contributed to four death in a short space of time, many house fires and hundreds of millions in fix ups. I know people who were told it would be $500 to inspect it and have said no they cant afford it. Some had it taken out and other have taken the risk.

    “Abbott used those deaths for base political purposes without any regard to truth or compassion for the families affected. He strongly opposes industrial manslaughter laws where employer negligence is the contributing factor in a workplace death. You like him forfeit any semblance of being honest , compassionate or concerned for those fatalities. Beneath contempt .”

    Incorrect, I saw one of the families on TV blaming the Federal Government poorly conceived, rushed and poorly managed project? Are they wrong as well?

  35. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Lorry, you can’t spell.

  36. SBH

    TTH “So Gillards given the Greens a promise to shut down coal power stations”

    Are you just making stuff up again?

    You know Keane has nailed it when the majority of comments are nutbag, right-wing trolls

  37. SBH

    yes Suzanne, They were wrong. Bereft and and quite reasonably looking to blame someone but none the less wrong. The policy didn’t kill people, their employers did.

    I don’t know if your ignorant or dishonest but in this country the law is well settled. It is an employers responsibility to ensure that workplaces are safe and healthy. These laws are policed by the states and territories. The federal government has tried to improve OH&S by harmonising legislation but at this stage they had no responsibility for the deaths, either legally or morally.

  38. Jimmy

    Suzanne – My point is you have no ability to make a relevant point backed up by facts, all you do is post the same liberal party Jones/Bolt talking points. You show no sign of having an independent thought so I am left with no other choice but to assume someone is doing your thinking for you.

    If you disagree with any of this perhaps you could point me to tthe reference in the Orgill report where it states that $1.5b has been wasted on the BER? Or maybe you could explain you position in regards to international permits and where the caolition policy fits?

    Lorry – Congratulation you finally posted a coherent sentence, you couldn’t spelt it and it lacked wit and intelligent thought but it is progress.

  39. Holden Back

    The possibility of a current affairs reporter (or even a Liberal party staffer) coaching a grieving family to blame the Federal Government – nah, wouldn’t ever happen with our high press standards.

  40. Apollo

    @BLAS FEMUR

    I don’t know who Jeremy is but Suzanne Blake sounds awfully the same as Competitive Australia or Climate Change when they used to appear some weeks back.

    I don’t mind people criticising Labor’s policy but stick to facts and logical arguments. The same goes with criticism of Liberal’s policy, I don’t want to read lefty ranting or rightwing ranting.

  41. Jimmy

    Apollo – Now you mention it was one of those posters who used the exact same phrasing regarding Bolt and Jones.

  42. Barry 09

    Time to get a higher TROLL Fence B.K .

  43. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    You seem to be an authority on Bolt and Jones, no one else mentions them as much as you do? You obviously listen to Jones and read what Bolt has to say.

  44. Bill

    Mr Hunt seems to be without shame in atguing against his supposed beliefs.

  45. TheTruthHurts

    [Time to get a higher TROLL Fence B.K .]

    Representing the 73% of voters who want Gillard out(Labor only getting 27% primarys now) isn’t trolling mate.

    Gillards on the nose and has gotta go. She’s less popular than Keating, Whitlam or Latham…. and her polling now is much worse than what Kevin Rudds was. Labor need to roll her immediately and put someone else in charge.

    I think Steven Smith will be their best bet

  46. davidk

    I can only assume Suzanne, the truth and frank come from the liberal party back room where negativity reins supreme. Praise be they’re not in power. What a black hole we’d be in then.

  47. Arty

    Suzanne, the Bunnies are still losers. Are they still your team?

  48. Suzanne Blake

    @ Arty

    “Suzanne, the Bunnies are still losers. Are they still your team?

    Yes Arty, I dont knife people when they are down or behind their back, and this includes South Sydney (born in Stanmore), which use to be Labor Heartland.

  49. freecountry

    Bernard Keane, I seem to remember in 2009 your headline on the Frontline Economics study commissioned by Malcolm Turnbull was: “Make the world pay: Turnbull’s carbon plan”. A great attention-grabbing headline which played to the populist Greens ignorance about comparative advantage, ignorance about economics in general, even ignorance about clean technology (see Mark Duffett, above).

    Now you’re defending international permit trading and trumpeting that the Coalition has changed its policy since Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull … that’s news?

    Of course international permit trading is good. Some developing countries can acquire land and build infrastructure many times more quickly and cheaply than we can here. Just look at the thousands of km of 350 kmph railways which China whipped up for the GFC stimulus. Try doing that in Australia.

    (BTW some readers like to assume that everything in China is done through human rights abuses. No, it isn’t. The only criticism the train projects have received in China is that the high-speed train fares are more expensive than people expected.)

    The fact that this means more abatement for less cost in the short term is only one of the virtues of international permit trading. In the longer term, this means we can prototype technological innovations in some developing countries many times faster than we can here in Australia. That means much more development of clean technologies in a much shorter time, which can later be deployed here in Australia as the best technologies mature.

    With international permit trading, everybody wins, except for the Greens at the back of the class (next to Pauline Hanson) who still refer to permit trading as a “get out of jail free card”.

  50. Suzanne Blake

    @ DavidK

    “I can only assume Suzanne, the truth and frank come from the liberal party back room where negativity reins supreme. Praise be they’re not in power. What a black hole we’d be in then”

    I can’t speak for the others David, but I have never been a member of any political party or organisation, but I so subscribe to all their emails. Labor, Greens, Liberal, Getup, Come On etc, so I know what happening and what they are spinning. I have never been to a political rally.

    BUT, I would attend a NO CARBON TAX rally, if held in my area, cause this tax is a con job.

  51. SBH

    Free is that what Keane is doing? I took the article to be pointing out the inconsistencies of the Libs position rather than boosting for one side or the other. Thanks again for presenting an opposing point of view with some research and argument. I always welcome your different take.

    Now to the other end of that paddock. Truthie, I hear lots of calls for Gillard to call an election. Ironic isn’t it that the people shouting for another election have no power to actually call one. Polls are all well and good but after being elected in for a three year term can you think of any reason why Gillard would agree bale a third of the way through? What do you think Abbott would say during the campaign about the cost and the lack of courage?

    This call for a government to suicide is new for Australian politics. The constitution sets a three year term. and elections are called by the PM not by the opposition or the peanut gallery. Don’t you think it’s destabilising for democracy to replace the transient, undemocratic poll results with a proper election held as and when the constitution prescribes?

    Suzanne, its a long time since Stanmore was labor heartland and when it was it wasn’t bunnies turf.

  52. geomac

    Representing the 73% of voters who want Gillard out(Labor only getting 27% primarys now) isn’t trolling mate.

    A small poll to assess voters intentions 2 years out from an election before the pollution tax was made public. You wrongly assume that Labors result equals people wanting Gillard out . The poll doesn,t represent 73% wanting Abbott in or Gillard out and to make that assumption is stupid or intentionally false. People who vote for the Greens , various other parties or independents don,t count ?

    SB You base guilt on a 30 second tv spot of one family ? You didn,t investigate details for yourself or find out fire rates pre the insulation scheme. You still have not expressed how you feel about those deaths or any deaths due to employer negligence. You fail to acknowledge that Labor tightened standards at the introduction of the scheme as opposed to after. Those standards were not adhered to by a minority in the industry. Your biggest failure in regards to integrity is that you use deaths as a false instrument to attack a party while demonstrating no understanding or wish to understand the falseness of your position. I find that repugnant. Deaths happen everyday , thats life but to use fatalities as Abbott did while being against any regulation or law to bring those responsible ( employers ) is dishonest and repugnant. Not fit for public office.

  53. freecountry

    And another thing, you’re still doing much the same thing you accuse Tony Abbott of, rattling off ignorant populist slogans like “soil magic” just to score a cheap point every chance you get.

    CSIRO has figured out how to measure levels and types of carbon content in Australian soils very cheaply. So it’s only a matter of time before the EU runs out of excuses to keep cheating on their carbon accounting by turning forests into biofuel plantations, and caves in to us on that one. Especially when we wave a carbon tax in their faces which is much more onerous than their phony one.

    Some Australian farmers have already been able to increase their crop yields and their profits by adopting natural fertilization methods, methods which just happen to involve stable increases in their soil carbon levels. Across other parts of Australia a lot of further research and investment will be required before these methods can be generalized or any results predicted. So what’s new? The same is true of electricity generation. The difference is, soil improvement would be worth investing in even if there were no carbon pollution problem.

    In a world where arable soils are dying out and global food supplies flatten towards what may be a capacity limit, where a recent spike in global food prices has already spawned civil uprisings in some of the Middle East, your populist slogan “soil magic” makes you sound more and more like the love child of Lord “It’s new communist world government” Monckton and Marie “Let them eat cake” Antoinette.

  54. SBH

    Geomac Suzanne also fails to deal with the inconvenient legal truth that it was those workers employers who were legally responsible for their health and safety. The first of the prosecutions is now on foot and, not surprisingly, no one from the federal government has, or will be, charged.

    Interestingly the supporters of the ‘Garret did it line’ would also strip workers rights away if elected

  55. SBH

    First prosecution over insulation death
    September 2010

    A Queensland Industrial Magistrate has just handed down a $135,000 penalty to a Queensland company involved in the Federal Government’s axed insulation scheme.
    Background

    In November 2009, 16-year-old Rueben Barnes was electrocuted while installing fiberglass insulation in a home in Stanwell, near Rockhampton. His was one of four deaths during the Federal Government’s home insulation program.

    Mr Barnes had been working for the employer, Arrow Property Maintenance Pty Ltd, for less than a month. The investigation by the Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland found that:

    there were no “specific or documented procedures in place for installation of insulation”;
    there were no procedures for working at heights;
    Mr Barnes had been provided with a conductive aluminium pole to prod batts into place;
    the employer had not provided workers with first aid training in the event of an electric shock; and
    the employer had not offered proper induction training.

    Decision

    Arrow Property Maintenance Pty Ltd was fined $135,000 for breaches under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) and the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld). They were further ordered to pay costs of almost $14,800. Although there was a pre-existing wiring fault in the ceiling, it was found that the employer had failed to ensure the house was de-energised and had failed to provide adequate supervision and trainin

  56. Suzanne Blake

    @SBH

    Employers may be responsible, they always are for workers. But the fact remains, the Federal Government was so inept in rolling out the fast money / typical Labor screw up, that allowed rogue employers to cash in. Some of the ’employers’ that cashed in, were not experiences, took shortcuts and we know what happened.

    As Jimmy and others say, this “fast stimulus was to save us from GFC”.

    Labor cant be trusted with taxpayers money, which is why no Labor Federal Government has produced a SURPLUS since the 1980’s (and we have had 11 1/2 years of Labor Federal Governments, since the last SURPLUS). With a CV, like that, they would be unemployed!!

  57. Hally

    How can anyone seriously argue that a price on carbon that increases over time won’t change our carbon signature?
    I also agree that with Keane (in another article) on capping coal exports. The investment in new infrastructure to increase coal export capacity seems particularly disingenuous to me.

  58. Malcolm Street

    FREECOUNTRY – the difference between then and now with Keane re. international permits is that the CPRS allowed unlimited use of them. The result was that it could be a complete replacement for *any* local action.

    As Bernard points out, the limit of 50% means that there *must* be local action to reduce CO2 emissions.

    To the usual trolls calling for an early election – the Senate from the *last* election has only just taken office! To put it another way, we are only now seeing the Parliament that the people voted for last time.

  59. freecountry

    Malcolm Street, paying for action is paying for action. It’s embarrassing to have to say this but it is all one atmosphere, you know. It doesn’t matter if the result is a postcard view of a solar farm against the sunset which you can see from the comfort of your 4WD on a Sunday cruise in the country; or many times the equivalent carbon abatement for the same price, somewhere out of sight and far from here, with a much faster roadmap to large-scale cost-effective clean energy. If we pay billions of dollars of our own cold hard money for making it happen, then it *is* real local action.

    The whole point of using a price signal is to be secular about how pollution reduction is achieved. If you think it’s a good idea to limit foreign traded permits to a politically arbitrary 50 per cent, then it’s hypocritical to have a go at the opposition for “picking winners” because this is just another way of picking winners. It makes me wonder if any of them are serious about the things they claim to believe in, or whether it’s all just sound and fury for nothing.

  60. SBH

    No Suzanne not ‘may be’ they are. That’s the law that’s what the courts consistently find. The employer is statutorily responsible for the safety of their workers. That’s the fact, isn’t it?

    It then follows that blaming the Federal Government for the deaths has no basis in fact but is just a cynical and callous use of those dead workers and their families for your somewhat obscure political ends.

    So to my original question, ignorant or dishonest? The ignorance excuse seems to have dissipated.

    Yes yes a terrible CV but we can all compile lists. Here’s another one
    Universal suffrage
    public schooling
    universal public health cover
    four weeks annual leave
    a peoples bank
    child endowment
    Royal Australian Navy
    workers compensation
    first Australian Born GG
    First Female GG
    first Australian born PM
    First Female Prime Minister
    ANZUS alliance
    widows pensions
    Holden
    Land rights
    Oh and World War Two (Australians didn’t trust the conservatives when things got really tough)

    So you don’t like labor but what about the point of the article?

  61. Fran Barlow

    It’s an interesting thing, Apollo, that “Suzanne Blake” is not the only one who uses the phrase “use to be” (sic) here. So does someone called “Simon Mansfield” in this topic here just the other day:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/10/carbon-tax-the-policy-and-the-politics/

    Interestingly, they also share a political perspective.

    In the early part of my academic life, I trained in lingusitics. When people are using sockpuppets, they hide the big things, but stock phrases are hard to recompose and it’s often these little things that give people away. Here, the fact that they both make the same error (it should be used to be) just makes it clear that the two almost certainly share an author.

    I’d also say that “TheTruthHurts” is in the same stable. Again, the sentence composition is similar and even the format of his (?) complaints against the ALP.

  62. Captain Planet

    @ Freecountry,

    With international permit trading, everybody wins, except for the Greens at the back of the class (next to Pauline Hanson) who still refer to permit trading as a “get out of jail free card”.

    To be fair, how then do you explain the Greens quite recently agreeing to allow 50 % of abatement under the Clean Energy Future plan to come from international emissions trading? It seems to me that the Greens are in fact quite open to international permit trading.

    In the longer term, this means we can prototype technological innovations in some developing countries many times faster than we can here in Australia. That means much more development of clean technologies in a much shorter time, which can later be deployed here in Australia as the best technologies mature.

    Yes, this is one possible interpretation, but I think you are putting a very optimistic filter over your critical faculties.
    There are no international carbon trading benefits to “prototyping technological innovations in some developing countries”. You don’t get to sell abatement by performing R & D on prototype technologies, you get to sell abatement by ABATING EMISSIONS, using tried and true methods.
    Relying 100% on international abatement to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets through purchasing international permits, in the long run, will leave Australia with a high CO2 emitting economy highly dependant on fossil fuels and inefficient energy usage: Competing on the international stage with other countries who have low carbon economies based on renewable energy and highly efficient energy usage.
    In this world of the future, where Australia is an outdated energy hog unable to compete in a world which no longer accepts CO2 intensive activities, we would be sadly looking back on today and remembering: We PAID those other countries to transform their economies to a highly efficient, low carbon model, and we didn’t bother taking the same actions ourselves.
    Perhaps this is why the Greens have held out for 50 % of emissions reductions to be reductions originating in Australia – in the long run, sourcing 100 % of reductions overseas amounts to setting the Australian economy up for complete failure in a world with a low carbon future.

  63. TheTruthHurts

    [How can anyone seriously argue that a price on carbon that increases over time won’t change our carbon signature?]

    Because there is a small and real possibility that cutting Carbon in Australia will just end up increasing it elsewhere.

    This is especially true if we close up manufacturers here in Australia and send them to 3rd world countries where energy production isn’t as efficient.

    Net effect on worldwide CO2 emissions will then be nilch, but Australian jobs will be lost.

  64. Fran Barlow

    It’s an interesting thing, Apollo, that “Suzanne Blake” is not the only one who uses the phrase “use to be” (sic) here. So does someone called “Simon Mansfield” in this topic here just the other day:

    w w w . crikey.com.au/2011/07/10/carbon-tax-the-policy-and-the-politics/

    Interestingly, they also share a political perspective.

    In the early part of my academic life, I trained in lingusitics. When people are using sockpuppets, they hide the big things, but stock phrases are hard to recompose and it’s often these little things that give people away. Here, the fact that they both make the same error (it should be used to be) just makes it clear that the two almost certainly share an author.

    I’d also say that “TheTruthHurts” is in the same stable. Again, the sentence composition is similar and even the format of his (?) complaints against the ALP.

  65. Syd Walker

    I seem to be one of Freecountry’s “Greens at the back of the class”. I really don’t care who sits next to me, because my focus is on the main debate.

    I support strong, urgent action to reduce greenhouse emissions, globally and within Australia.

    I support the use of “economic instruments” to achieve reductions as one of a number of policy instuments that can and should be utilised.

    My preference is for a tax – with funds generated redeployed for a reange of purposes, both compensatory and to funds new infrastructure and direct abatement initiaves. That’s because I’m unaware that a carbon ETS scheme works effectively anywhere at present (if anyone can show me hard evidence to the contrary, please do). It’s also because there are so many precedents for large, complex markets to function poorly; if the GFG hasn’t already woken people up to this unpleasant reality, it’s hard to know what will.

    I hope that journalists will ask hard questions – in a way that Bernard’s article doesn’t – about how it’s proposed the carbon market will be developed in this country and how government proposes to deal with foreseeable pitfalls.

    I also take the view that overseas trading of emissions permits – in the foreseeable future – is a recipe for poor overall achievement. ‘Verification’ is not the only issue here, or at least it needs to be split into component parts. A key concern is genuine additionality (would the overseas projects happen anyway?) Another is that ‘swapping’ foregone carbon in the ground for vulnerable carbon in vegetation is an exchange of non-equivalents (coal in the ground isn’t liable to forest fire, but these two carbons are treated as equivalent in permit schemes).

    The ETS is, I fear, another decision likely to benefit powerful vested interests that’s slipping through the Parliament without adequat scrutiny from the politicians, media or the intelligensia as a whole. I hope I’m wrong.

    To persuade me, I’d need to be told why the pursuasive criticisms of ex-CSIRO economist Dr Clive Spash are wrong. It isn’t sufficient merely to exclude him and his critique from mainstream public debate, as was done during the Rudd Government era to its discredit (see “Gagged and Dudded: Australia’s dismal climate change response” on my website – or the website of Dr Spash).

    A real debate over the ETS needs to happen. If we can’t be assured the proposed carbon market will function smoothly, the Parliament should simply legislate to tax carbon, without establishing a trading market at this stage.

  66. freecountry

    Captain Planet – I was assuming you could fill in some blanks, otherwise I’d have to write War & Peace to explain the process. Of course you don’t generate permits by doing an experiment, only by shutting down emissions, so a prototype would have to (a) work and (b) replace a high-emission generator.

    There’s only one possible reason trading will be limited to 50 per cent: the Greens must have wanted none of it, and Labor must have been bargained them to meet in the middle.

    So we’ll have a $10 billion “picking winners” research fund, but any assistance to CCS is vetoed. Nuclear power is vetoed; hydro power is vetoed; international trading is stupidly limited to 50 per cent …

    It makes you wonder, do the Greens actually care about carbon pollution? Last year some journalists were calling Kevin Rudd a “climate change denier” after he shelved the CPRS, which the Greens had defeated in the Senate. But who’s really the denier? The Greens harp on about the problem, but when it comes to solving it they do their best to block all but the weakest strategies.

  67. freecountry

    Let’s try to enumerate the ways in which the Greens have sabotaged pollution reduction efforts.

    1. Defeated CPRS in the Senate, a package which Julia Gillard admits was better than the current one, and I’m beginning to agree with her. Contributed to the downfall of Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, both strong climate change advocates.

    2. Vetoed all consideration of nuclear power or hydro power.

    3. Insisted on $13 billion of taxpayer funded “direct action” including a $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation and a $3 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Both dedicated to picking winners for direct action, against the advice of the Productivity Commission.

    4. Vetoed any research into Carbon Capture and Storage by those $13 billion of picking-winners funds.

    5. Insisted on maintaining all the direct action policies such as the Renewable Energy Target and direct action on solar funding, even after the Productivity Commission found that “direct action” policies like this cost Australia more than $1000 per tonne of CO2 abatement. (And then they have a go at the Coalition for proposing “direct action”.)

    6. Tried to veto all international permit trading, and compromised at 50 per cent, arbitrarily limiting the most powerful feature of carbon pricing.

    7. Blocked any possibility of a revenue-neutral reduction in taxation of capital. This will make it harder for companies to invest in capital-intensive clean technologies.

    8. Insisted on skewing the income tax to increase the cost burden on high earners. This will make it more expensive for companies to hire engineers and scientists, a category of workers who are internationally mobile. In fact the only thing that becomes cheaper is unskilled labour, so a lot of companies will find that’s the cheapest way to recoup the carbon tax cost, rather than by innovation and clean technology.

  68. Suzanne Blake

    From todays NON MURDOCH press….

    ANXIOUS Labor ministers and backbenchers say the party has no choice but to knuckle down behind Julia Gillard as she fights to sell the carbon tax to the Australian people.

    Lets see if a few get chicken and cross the floor.

  69. davidk

    @ Suzanne Blake
    Nor have I ever belonged to any political party Suzanne, nor attended a party political rally. I have however attended a Pro carbon tax rally some considerable distance from my home because this tax IS NOT A CON but the first step in the right direction on a path that we could have begun 30 years ago if it wasn’t for all the gutless navel gazing naysayers who believe leadership means coming up with smart arse one liners and saying no to every idea not thought of by them or their self-righteous cronies. You’ll find many of them at the No carbon tax rally you attend.

  70. Suzanne Blake

    @ DavidK

    I think Jimmy, yourself and the others are in the small noisy minority. Pre and Post the announcement the polls have been consistent, with 70 – 90% against the Carbon Tax.

    I can hear you saying so what! there is no election for 2 years. This is true, perhaps, but Gillard and Co will bounce around, have to throw more money and try and buy friends.

    The next Swandive will be the falling consumer and business confidence. Retail sales down etc. Better do another stimulus and try and kick start the economy. But blame Europe – its all their fault, or blame the US. Swan is like a mirror with dirty glass. His teflon coating has worn off.

  71. Jimmy

    “I think Jimmy, yourself and the others are in the small noisy minority. Pre and Post the announcement the polls have been consistent, with 70 – 90% against the Carbon Tax.”

    We may be in the minority but we are in good company, every credible climate scientist, every credible economist, even Bluescope and Onesteel support this policy. As I keep saying if 1 doctor says you have cancer but 100 blokes in the pub say you don’t do you go with the majority or the informed educated opinion.

    Also if it was the govt’s job just to do what is popular we would be in a world of trouble, Greece style trouble, the history of politics is littered with unpopular decisions that in hindsight were clearly necessary and positive. Given how much you like making lists perhaps you could have a think about it and make one for that!

  72. Suzanne Blake

    Jimmy

    You thow enough money, handouts, compensation to people of course some will support it.

    You employ these scientists and economists etc and of course they will wag tail for the master. Would Garnaut have lasted a weeks if he said he did not support the Carbon Tax? Come one, surely you can see this.

    Looks at this analysis as well

    “Wednesday July 13, 2011
    By Charlie Aitken
    In this edition:

    • Ringing the Bell…Australia de-rated (again)…Long Australian equities, short Gillard…The trade of the next two years.

    Good morning,

    In recent notes we have written that sentiment and momentum in Australian equities have been appalling, yet valuation, balance sheet and yield support are the
    best we can remember. However, since the confirmation of a Carbon Tax, sentiment towards Australian equities and their momentum have gotten even worse, with the ASX200 again touching our 4477 support level. It is blatantly clear that foreign investors are voting with their feet by indiscriminately dumping
    Australian equities, something we have consistently warned would happen if Canberra kept “moving the regulatory goal posts”.

    On the weekend the Gillard minority government outlined its new carbon tax policy. Once again, we feel compelled to comment on another bad policy initiative
    by this accident-prone minority government which we believe has the potential to significantly undermine Australia’s economic growth potential, and the P/E…”

  73. Jimmy

    Suzanne – Recently more than 100 economists signed a petition in support of a price on carbon “The group of high-profile Australian economists includes former ANZ chief economist Saul Eslake, Westpac’s Bill Evans, former Liberal Party leader John Hewson, Citigroup Global Markets’ Paul Brennan, Lowy Institute visiting fellow Stephen Grenville, and Macquarie Bank’s Richard Gibbs.” All of these bought and paid for by the govt? What about internationally all these bought by the govt?

    I am sure gloabl uncertainty, the european debt crisis (including Moody’s down grading Irish bonds to Junk), the US spending cap crisis etc had nothing to do with the stock market fall, it was all the Carbon Price. Meanwhile Macarthur coal get on offer of $15.50 per share when they were trading at about $11, sounds like someone see a future in Australian Coal, and Bluescope and Onesteel both endorse the package.

  74. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Its different to accountancy. These so called experts live and die by the work they generate. If they bag a company, Director, Government etc, they will be blacklisted and never work for them again. Macquarie Bank stands to reap MILLIONS in fees from the Carbon Tax, see todays Financial Review. The others probably the same.

    The software companies will reaps millions as well, coding mods and consulting to track carbon emissions.

    Jimmy, please take blinkers off and see what is the real driver here. Its greed and money.

  75. SBH

    “You employ these scientists and economists etc and of course they will wag tail for the master”

    Suzanne that is a disgraceful and unwarranted attack on the public servants and non-government academics who provide advice and analysis on this issue.

    It’s also cowardly because public servants have very limited scope to defend themselves.

    I await you contribution which relates to the issue of the opposition’s flexibility over international permits which you have failed to address once in your off-point trolling posts.

  76. Jimmy

    Suzanne – Do you hear yourself? Telling me to take the blinkers off while espousing a conspiracy theory where every credible economist in the world is so scared of the ALP they are forced to back a price on carbon.
    If they are so scared of being blacklisted as you say, and as you say I am in the minority, and as you say the Gillard govt is going to be voted out at the next election wouldn’t they be more concerned about being blacklisted by Tony Abbott and the Libs?

    Either start finding some actual evidence to support your irrational accusations or go away, or at least change your name again so we have the illusion of you disappearaing.

  77. Fran Barlow

    tinyurl.com/kochden

    The Koch Bros Denial Machine (YouTube) … check it out …

  78. geomac

    Yesterday I saw an online poll in the Heraldsun that demonstrates the banality of some polls. Would you be happy to pay the carbon tax was the question. Would you be happy to pay anything or any tax would draw a similar result. Would you be happy to receive government largesse/compensation.
    Is it too hard to frame a poll question without ensuring that there can only be one majority response ? I,d like to see a poll that asks Do you understand the coalition direct action plan ? How about do you think taxpayers should pay polluters to reduce emissions instead of taxing polluters. Nah won,t fly , the questions require a modicum of thought.

  79. freecountry

    Actually sometimes people are happy to pay a tax. In a recent application to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to lift local council rates (which are effectively land taxes) 23 councils showed the tribunal evidence that the majority of their ratepayers–in most cases 55 to 60 per cent–wanted their rates to rise so they could get better local services.

    (( smh.domain.com.au/real-estate-news/council-rates-to-soar–for-years-20110610-1fxet.html ))

    That didn’t stop the tribunal from rejecting six of the council applications, and limiting the rises allowed for the other 17. Just one of the stupidities of the NSW government which charges people stamp duties they don’t want to pay, then stops councils charging land taxes that they do want to pay.

    Anyway the point is, people are willing to pay a tax if they think they get good value for it and it’s distributed fairly.

  80. ronin8317

    If you pay for carbon capture in soils, you’re effectively paying for land clearing. It’ll be as stupid as claiming woodchip as a ‘clean renewable energy resource’.

  81. davidk

    @ ronin
    capturing carbon in soils is actually good for the soils, makes them more fertile and thus more productive unlike land clearing which does the opposite.

  82. freecountry

    According to the NSW Department of Primary Industry:
    [As a rough estimate, total (soil organic carbon) sequestration potential from pasture land, cropping land and rangelands amounts to 4.9 Mt C/yr (18 Mt CO2e/yr), which is equivalent to 11% of the total GHG emission from NSW in 2005.
    Many of the management practices that are effective in increasing SOC in agricultural soils also improve productivity and profitability, conserve the resource base and protect the environment.

    Worldwide, clearing and subsequent management practices on agricultural land have resulted in significant loss of soil carbon. Globally this has been estimated to be 78± 12 Gt C (this is equivalent to 29 % of total CO2-C emission due to fossil fuel combustion of 270± 30 Gt.]
    The paper is worth reading before making further comments out of mindless partisan ignorance:
    dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/266850/Scoping-paper—Soil-organic-carbon-sequesterin-for-Ag.pdf

  83. SBH

    And to add to that FC, people strongly support hypothecated taxes, although maybe not this one

  84. freecountry

    I’ve no idea what word quarantined my last post, but for those who like some facts with their polemic, please see:
    dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/266850/Scoping-paper—Soil-organic-carbon-sequesterin-for-Ag.pdf

  85. freecountry

    SBH, I suspect a majority may still be in favour of a carbon pricing regime in principle but object to the way this one is being done. Six months of talk about “compensation” with hardly any detail about the actual point of the scheme. It’s like someone knocking on your door and saying, “Now you might want to sit down for this. Are you sure you won’t sit down? I really suggest you sit down before you hear this.”

    So people already had their teeth on edge by the time we heard it on Sunday. The deal, which was supposedly designed by Labor with input from the Greens, sounds more and more like it was the other way round. The ETS from 2015 will operate in a straitjacket because the Greens have limited international permit trading to 50 per cent. Instead of being replaced by the carbon price, expensive direct action subsidies have been increased to $13.2 billion of taxpayer funds for picking winners, and the Greens are already dictating what it can and can’t be spent on.

    The way to foster innovation would have been a net decrease in the overall taxation of business capital, not a net increase which is what’s going to happen. Or have we forgotten that the point of carbon pricing is not to feed a picking-winners slush fund but to impose a secular price signal which gives abatement an economic advantage over pollution, any way you can do it? We have no idea where the most successful carbon abatement measures will come from–that’s the whole point of doing it with a price signal and an ETS. How is the business community supposed to finance anti-pollution measures if their overall tax burden is rising?

    If the government believes its $13.2 billion funds can do that better than the market, then it should be consistent, tear up the Productivity Commission report, tear up the carbon price scheme, and take up a Coalition-style direct action policy.

    So I think a lot of people would have supported a carbon price scheme in principle, just not this one. That’s one question that none of the polls have asked.

  86. Ian

    The commentary here seems to have developed into a partisan scrap between Labor and Liberal supporters. While I must that say those supporting Labor have on the whole done so armed with facts and rational arguments while those on the other side, like their demagogic leader by and large just rant on almost blindly.

    What really has been forgotten in this debate is that if it was left entirely in the hands of either party Australia would continue to follow the same shameful path of a few renegade countries like the US and Canada. That is a morally unacceptable path to follow as well as one that would probably do nothing to improve our long term welfare as a people.

    Thank God for an electorate (or at least enough of an electorate to matter) that gave the Greens and independents sufficient votes to force a reluctant Gillard to bight the bullet and change direction in order to retain power for another three years at least.

    This is a far better outcome that the sickly CPRS would have been; the change in the international offset provisions from 100% to 50% being just one such improvement.

  87. freecountry

    I don’t see the point of your comment, Ian. Your own comment right there has less facts, less logic, and more partisan polemic, than that which you accuse others of.

    Let’s try this for balance. The carbon tax package is quite poorly designed, but these things are usually made up of one part economics to three parts political compromise. It will be quite a small burden on the economy for now. Australia’s robust economy will easily take it in its stride, as it has taken much worse burdens in its stride before. It will not cause any industry leakage in the short term.

    There will be plenty of chances to reconfigure the tax system for growth and innovation, cut the direct-action subsidies, remove trading limits, and so on, long before the carbon price ramps up into any kind of serious burden or causes any detectable industry leakage or trade distortion.

    But none of these repairs will be possible while the Greens are running parliament. Labor must face up to the reality that the Greens are not the enemy of the Coalition; the Greens are the enemy of Labor. In some ways, the Greens are a key reason for the spectacular polling of the Coalition under a very mediocre leader; they could be the best thing that ever happened to Tony Abbott.

    To the Gillard government I suggest that if you want a future, you really should stop acting as an Opposition to the Opposition. Instead of going on and on and on about Tony Abbott’s negativity, save your breath for explaining policies to the public (and dispense with these ridiculous six-month drum rolls). Meanwhile develop political strategies for throwing the Greens out of the balance of power and back to where they belong, which is out on the cult fringes of society with One Nation and the fundamentalist religious nuts.

  88. Ian

    FREECOUNTRY,

    Quotes from your posts:
    “Bernard Keane, I seem to remember in 2009 your headline on the Frontline Economics study commissioned by Malcolm Turnbull was: “Make the world pay: Turnbull’s carbon plan”. A great attention-grabbing headline which played to the populist Greens ignorance about comparative advantage, ignorance about economics in general, even ignorance about clean technology.”

    and
    “Let’s try to enumerate the ways in which the Greens have sabotaged pollution reduction efforts” etc.

    And this is not non-partisan polemics is it? Steeped in facts and sparse in opinions is it? Based on a value system that goes a step or two further than concern for your own pocket is it?

  89. freecountry

    Actually, yes. I didn’t take sides between Labor and Liberal in this discussion, I disagreed with both of them. However I suspect if the Greens hadn’t forced Julia Gillard’s hand, she would have designed a better carbon pricing scheme using the traditional Parliamentary inquiry process, with public submissions and so on. And if Malcolm Turnbull had become prime minister, he probably would have done something similar.

    Sure I have a go at the Greens, but that’s no more partisan than having a go at Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. Her time in the spotlight has come and gone and now we’re simply embarrassed to remember her. It will be the same for the Greens once people get over the myth that the Greens turned climate awareness into mainstream policy. They didn’t; they hijacked the issue and kept it on the loony fringe for longer than would otherwise have been the case, and now they’re trying to do the same to carbon policy. Make the most of the few years you’ve got left, because the mainstream parties will bury you.

  90. freecountry

    Clarification: there was a public inquiry, but the use that was made of it is questionable. For example the Independent Carbon Bank recommended by the inquiry as vital to an ETS has somehow been perverted into a picking-winners fund that will be far from independent, at the insistence of the Greens.

  91. Ian

    FREECOUNTRY,

    The loony fringe? What are you on about? Australia itself is on the loony fringe along with much of America and a fair number of Canadians. The rest of the world, while by and large still tinkering with the problem of climate change have been putting far more effort into it than has Australia.

    Lets face it both Labor and Liberal are beholden to vested interests and no longer govern for the people. On top of that the Liberals in particular but not exclusively are ideologically attached to a free market, free trade, individual rights (as opposed to communal rights), minimal tax and welfare and privatization of everything under the sun. This attachment persists in spite of overwhelming evidence that it is failing to to improve peoples welfare, results in environmental destruction and a widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

    Read The Spirit Level by Wilkinson & Pickett and 23 Things they don’t tell you about Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang if you really want to balance your arguments with some facts.

    Like is the case with religious fundamentalists, neo liberal ideologues cannot be convinced by rational, evidenced-based arguments. Faith not fact is what they fall back on every time. And then of course there is the question of values which I won’t go into now.

Leave a comment

Advertisement

https://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/12/carbon-tax-international-permits-and-liberals/ == https://www.crikey.com.au/free-trial/==https://www.crikey.com.au/subscribe/

Show popup

Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

Free Trial form on Pop Up

Free Trial form on Pop Up
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.