Jun 25, 2014

Explainer: did Clive Palmer just save the planet?

Clive Palmer dropped a bombshell on climate policy tonight. He's a fair bit greener -- and Tony Abbott will be fuming. Crikey explains what just happened.

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

Kingmaker Clive Palmer has saved the furniture on climate policy, in a bizarre press conference with environmental crusader Al Gore. Spin and media fiction aside, here's an explanation of what Palmer's announcement means.

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37 thoughts on “Explainer: did Clive Palmer just save the planet?

  1. Scott

    Don’t think they are the most likely at all…I think China will be a long way down the list.
    The Chinese ETS pilots seem like thought balloons to me…China has tapped the 7 provinces on the shoulder and said “make it happen”, and the provinces have just done it randomly and independently with no strategic thought/co-ordination at all.
    It will end up being a hodge podge of schemes with no linkages and China will then say, “we can’t make it work” and shut it down.
    At least Japan, US, or Korea would come up with a scheme that would actually work and has the proper legal and commercial safeguards to ensure it could be rolled out across the country.

  2. Jimmy

    Scott – YOu may be right we will just have to wait and see, but with the republican party denying climate change is real and Japan ignoring the situation altogether the fact they may come up with a better model is kind of a moot point.

  3. Jimmy

    Patriot – “China- With the world’s largest clean energy capacity at 191 GW, China installed a record 12.1 GW of solar — setting records and emerging as a major global solar market. In addition, China installed 14 GW of wind energy capacity in 2013. As concerns about air pollution mount, China set ambitious 2014 goals, with 14 GW of new solar capacity and 18 GW of new wind capacity. A new 20-year policy, aimed to boost solar power, makes future solar growth attractive and will create a steady market, the report’s authors predict.”
    “According to The Global Status Report, which was released earlier this month by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, China once again led the rest of the world in renewable energy investment in 2013, spending a total of $56.3 billion on wind, solar and other renewable projects. The report stated that China accounted for 61 percent of the total investment in renewables by developing countries, and that China invested more in renewable energy than all of Europe last year.”

  4. MJPC

    Palmer is no greener than Abbott, he is just more cunning. Having said that stopping the scrapping of the CEFC and CCA is an appreciated move (unless it is all too much hot air to generate concessions from Abbott and his flat earthers and policies that will benefit Clive’s financial interests).
    There are some real tech breakthroughs overseas (electric cars powered by fuel cells being just one) and if Australia misses out on part of these breakthroughs them we’ll just be a quarry and a tourist destination (sans Great Barrier Reef). As for the PUP taking votes from the Greens; one announcement does not an environmental party make.

  5. Chris Hartwell

    Scott – more likely the different implementations are instructed to be thus – comparisons can then be made, no?

  6. bonnie.hoey

    Clive’s not the messiah and neither is Al Gore. Al Gore is talent for hire. Clive wanted to rebrand a little to shore up some progressive support. He could afford it and thought the payoff would be worth the investment. It was. Marketing 101.

  7. klewso

    “Clive Palmer – Superhero”? Seen that episode of South Park – Eric Cartman, “The Coon”?

  8. AR

    Candide Alexander, Dr Pangloss called and sez he suggested that you cultivate “chives” not ‘Clives’.

  9. Scott


    5 different schemes? Not the way pilots work in the real world. Usually the same scheme rolled out to a wide sample to test under all conditions, before rolling out to the masses.
    How can you compare 5 different schemes operating in 5 different provinces…you won’t be able to say whether its the scheme or the province that is responsible for the success or failure.
    European Union didn’t have multiple schemes when they did phase 1 of their ETS.

  10. Chris Hartwell

    Not the way pilots work as we understand them, I’ll grant you Scott. Are the conditions in the five different provinces sufficiently different to make differentiating cause of effects impossible?

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