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. Liamj

    Scotts theory doesn’t apply to trade deals or tax law, yet somehow regulation of pollution requires unanimity. File in same bin as the argument that anyone concerned about the environment must live in a cave.

  2. Jimmy

    Scott – “Not the way pilots work in the real world.” China isn’t exactly the real world though is it.

  3. Venise Alstergren

    It is surprising that Al Gore was successfully sold a very large Australian PUP.

  4. Cathy Alexander

    Jimmy #11

    I have been really puzzling over this. Palmer says he’ll introduce an amendment to the CCA bill (not the CEFC bill) to bring in his ETS. Right. So does he pass the bill – to scrap the CCA – with the ETS amendment? That means scrapping the CCA – which he says he won’t do.

    And if he amends the bill to bring in the ETS, how would that bill get through the lower house? Why on earth would the Coalition pass it?

    I’m struggling to understand Palmer’s plan on this one.

    I get that he’s talking about amending the CCA bill because the CCA would be quite involved in the design and implementation of the replacement ETS – but it still doesn’t make sense.

  5. Cathy Alexander

    Jimmy and Scott, v interesting debate on China’s pilot ETS schemes.

    Surely it’s fair to say China is closer to a national ETS (which the government says it wants) than Japan – because Japan is not moving towards a carbon price at all. In fact, Japan is doing very little to reduce emissions. Also worth noting Japan buys a fair bit of Australian coal.

    You can also argue that China is actually quite genuine about cutting coal use (and therefore emissions) – because they only have so much coal. If they keep building coal-fired capacity at projected rates, they will end up a massive importer of coal and they do not want that energy dependence.

    And Korea’s ETS is legislated and starts fairly soon.

  6. Jimmy

    Cathy – Thanks for the update re Korea’s ETS, I thought last year they were going to do it then cancelled then plans so good to hear it is back.

    This is the lateline transcript from Palmers interivew re the ETS amendment –
    CLIVE PALMER: If that’s the case, it is, and we’ll then be bringing an ETS as a amendment to the Climate Change Authority repeal bill and seeing if we can introduce it that way to the Senate and have it passed by the Senate.

    TONY JONES: So, can you just explain that one more time? Because you don’t want the Climate Change Authority repealed, so how can you link the two things together?

    CLIVE PALMER: Well it’s the bill and we’ll be amending that bill to introduce a ETS which’ll only take effect on another country’s operating an ETS into that bill.

    TONY JONES: Yes, but you want to keep the Climate Change Authority, is that right?

    CLIVE PALMER: As well, yeah.

    TONY JONES: So if that is linked into a bill to remove the carbon tax, you won’t be able to vote for it, isn’t that right?

    CLIVE PALMER: Well it’s not linked into a bill to remove the carbon tax. It’s an individual bill.

    TONY JONES: Alright. OK. I think I’ve misunderstood you there.


    So basically because Palmer got Jones so confused he said Carbon Tax rather than ETS we don’t get to find out how he plans to do it.

  7. klewso

    Clive Palmer mild-mannered politician by day – “The Green Gobblin'” by night?
    [“To the Wild Duck cave Al Abai, boy-wonder …..”]

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