Carbon Cutters

Mar 6, 2013

The Power Index: carbon cutters, Coalition influencers at #9

Who will influence Tony Abbott on climate policy if he claims the Lodge? The Coalition vows to ditch the carbon tax but its Direct Action alternative needs resourcing. The Power Index examines the field and finds ex-minister Robert Hill could be in the box seat.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

It’s all very well to profile the most powerful people in Australia’s low-carbon economy under Julia Gillard. But come September 14 — perhaps earlier — there’s a strong chance of a new sheriff in town. The climate sector would be deeply affected by a Coalition victory, because it’s a key area of difference between the major parties. Powerful figures would be sacked or quit; some would leave the country. A fresh crop would rise to influence.

At No. 9 in The Power Index list of carbon influencers are the understudies waiting in the wings for a Tony Abbott government.

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7 thoughts on “The Power Index: carbon cutters, Coalition influencers at #9

  1. Tony Kevin

    No good news here. A timely article, though – thanks . An Abbott government will wreak the same destructive havoc on cimate science and good climate change policy as Stalin wreaked on Soviet genetics and biological science in the 1930s. Remember Lysenko – who will be the Coalition’s Lysenko?

  2. michael crook

    Sorry it is too late, the tipping points have been passed. It is all academic now, we are all in survival mode.

  3. Bo Gainsbourg

    “An insider suggests miners would have more influence..” Something so gob smackingly obvious is really not worth the space in Crikey. Telling us the bleeding obvious and presenting it as if its some kind of insider gem available only to those in the know (wink wink) is kind of sad. “Will Mitch Hooke from the Minerals Council of Australia — alongside BHP, and David Peever from Rio — dominate Coalition climate policy?” Please….give us a bit more credit on this stuff. This series is pretty underwhelming so far, and appears not to have that great a knowledge of the players. Don’t put the fist chewingly obvious in terms that are meant to suggest breathless discovery of some kind of hidden political insight.

  4. tonyl

    “Andrew Grant has made good money from carbon farming and may influence policy.” I recently attended a 3 day workshop, led by agronomists and soil scientists, on sustainable soils and came away with some interesting and disturbing facts relating to the the issue of sequestering carbon in soils (carbon farming). The carbon must be in a form that lasts 100 years ie humus, which is relatively inert and cannot go straight back into the atmosphere. To produce 1 tonne of humus requires input of around 200 kg of phosphorus. P is currently around $5/kg. That’s approx $1000/tonne of carbon right there. Potassium is also needed although nitrogen can be supplied by legumes. It is also difficult to actually do and requires pasture, not cropping. More pastures means more methane emissions from cattle or sheep too of course. Also easier in already carbon depleted soils so anyone who has been looking after their country is not going to get much out of it whatever the price. Someone’s dreaming!

  5. Electric Lardyland

    If Abbott gets elected, I reckon there’s as much chance of him seriously tackling carbon emissions, as there is of him pressing for a republic. That is, different issues, but the same delaying spin has been used in both.

  6. AR

    Abbott is now playing the part of the Magic Pudding as well as looking like it.
    How much longer can he glad hand his way without the inconsistencies pile up?

  7. Cathy Alexander

    Tonyl, that’s really interesting. And I think the forecasts are for fertiliser to continue to rise in price, so that $5/kg goes up. There’s been a fair bit of work done on soil carbon in the last few years – might be good to look into it some more for a Crikey story. If you have any links, send them through.

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