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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

energy compromises « Previous | |Next »
December 12, 2006

First we had the nuclear energy taskforce. Now we have an the carbon emissions taskforce that is to look into a global system of trading, and how Australia might take part in such a scheme. Now, it is hard not to see this in the context of the standard Howard policy of short term tactics and political expediency. The Howard Government needs to be seen to be doing something in an election year on an issue in which public opinion is way ahead of either of the main political parties. Government responses so far have been superficial, as it is more concerned with the maintenance of resource interests as the main game with the environment as a secondary consideration.

Cathy Wilcox
The context is one excessive faith in the prospects of clean-coal technology and highly partisan stances on the nuclear option and carbon taxes. If the taskforce has no environmentalists on it, then it has the climate change skeptics on board. It has been given the task of finding a way in which Australia can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without losing its trading advantages in traditional energy areas such as fossil fuels. It is required to maintain the prosperity that our abundant fossil fuels have given us whilst at the same time exploring options for global climate change solutions.

The taskforce must also advise on the “nature and design of a workable global emissions trading system of the type that Australia would be able to participate”. Is it to be an Australian only one---a global system based on Australia’s needs only? Or is it to be more along the lines of implementing a domestic emissions trading system that is capable of participating in international carbon markets as they stand in the near future?

The problem is that global warming cannot be effectively addressed with what have increasingly become the customary political responses: a quick rhetorical fix, a few token handouts to green programs, or simplistic changes of policy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:58 AM | | Comments (2)


This is exactly like the Cole Enquiry, one of Costellos recent studies and the Nuclear Power Study, where the personnel and the terms of reference dictate what the conclusions will be. All the rest is just padding.

yes it sure looks like that doesn't it. So many fossil fuel executives---the foxes are inside the policy hen house.

It is difficult to see how a member of the emissions taskforce, such as International Power, the owner of the notoriously polluting Hazelwood power station in the la Trobe Valley in Victoria, would have the best interests of Australia at heart.

International Power will be interested in keeping Hazelwood running as long as possible so they can pay off the big debt they incurred in buying the plant off the Kennett Government.