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Economists open letter « Previous | |Next »
December 9, 2008

A group of economists - Tony Cole, Saul Eslake, Allan Fels, Rod Glover, Nicholas Gruen, Ian Harper, Tony Harris, Mike Waller - have written an open letter to the Prime Minister advocating aggressive stimulus of the economy.

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The economists propose three strategies for a second package of stimulatory measures:

---a one-off downward adjustment to compulsory superannuation contributions to free up funds for short-term consumption combined with an acceleration of contributions towards a target of 12 percent as the economy recovers;
---a sustained program of nation-building public investment, funded by additional public borrowing, to modernise Australia’s ageing economic and social infrastructure; and
----targeted temporary assistance to our households and businesses to improve their energy efficiency and help them adjust to climate change.

The latter is what caught my eye in the light of the renewable industry struggling to stay afloat and the frozen billions of investment dollars in Australia's wind and solar industries.

They say that the need for temporary economic stimulus presents an opportunity to prepare households and businesses for the carbon-constrained world we are building. If well designed and combined with appropriate pricing measures, a short-term investment in energy efficiency could prove a highly cost-effective means of reducing emissions.

Faiiure to act on energy efficiency and renewable energy is becoming a characteristic of the Rudd Government. What we have is support for the energy intensive industries that produce greenhouse gases----cash for the coal industry is the latest subsidy--- and an indifference to the renewable energy industry that is covered by strong rhetoric about decisive action on global warming.

Meanwhile, the United Nations-led talks in Poznan, Poland will be based on the first draft of a new global agreement on reducing greenhouse emissions.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:52 AM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

On top of the generally disappointing attitude to renewable energy is this government's failure to support Australian innovations in the area.

http://www.alp.org.au/media/1208/mstra020.php

Pretty strange for a PM who doesn't want to run a country that doesn't make things.

Unlike Obama's proposed investment in alternative fuels and sources of energy along with traditional road building projects, the Rudd Government plans very little investment in manufacturing the plant to produce renewable energy. It is still happy talking away about its big plans for renewable energy targets. Other countries --- China, Japan and Germany--- and California act whilst Australia talks about the process.

They've lost the plot. Garrett is pathetic. he is in love with himself performing the role of a minister in the Rudd Government. You can see the ego coming through the media interviews.

Lynn
The Crean media release is all about the Rudd Government being committed to

ensuring that we have the appropriate policy settings to confront the challenges of climate change as well as the expertise and infrastructure necessary to take advantage of the economic opportunities the arise from expanding global demand for this type of energy solution.In addition these facilities will make a significant contribution to the Rudd Government’s renewable energy target that commits to at least 20% of Australia’s electricity supply being generated from renewable sources by 2020.

They spin the investment in windmills in terms of their wonderful policy settings and allow manufacturing in green technologies to die. Its spin over substance.

Their track record on this issue is compromise, back-pedalling and political expediency.

Lynn,
Rudd Labor is only interested in making cars not solar panels or windmills. Their concern with climate change is all about the costs of emissions trading scheme and not on investment, renewable technologies, manufacturing, jobs and energy security. it appears that Rudd Labor have been captured by the emissions-intensive industries and unions seeking big handouts and delays because they are going to get hurt.

The Minerals Council of Australia may rant and rage about emissions trading scheme with a 5% cut imposing huge costs and sending them to wall, but Rudd Labor has become reactive. They have allowed the Greenhouse mafia to get their hands in the honey pot.