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climate change policy « Previous | |Next »
February 14, 2011

Frank Jotzo in Climate policy: a new momentum at Inside Story states that the climate change policy debate is alive again in Australia, even though there is no binding global agreement. What we have tis a bottom-up approach to international climate policy to curb carbon emissions.

Jotzo asks: But what level of ambition should Australia strive for – what level of carbon price and what emissions reductions target? He answers along these lines:

Australia is in a curious position, as the only major developed country that escaped the 2009 recession, and with continued strong growth driven in part by mining and gas extraction. Without new policies, energy use and carbon emissions are on a strong upward trend, projected to rise to 24 per cent above 2000 levels, according to the government’s latest report, released this week. If this translates into a less ambitious emissions target, we can expect no sympathy from the international community including our trading partners: if the highest per-capita emitter of the major countries in the world decided it could not afford more climate change mitigation action because of a resource boom that is making it rich fast, the irony would be bitter and the backlash assured.

We are just nine years away from 2020 - the year both Labor and the Coalition have pledged that Australia's emissions should be 5 per cent below what they were in 2000.

In the Sydney Morning Herald Lenore Taylor says that projections show the nation's emissions are on track to be 24 per cent above that benchmark. Though a carefully phased-in emissions trading scheme--one using the market---is the cheapest way to achieve greenhouse gas reductions, it has never got off the ground in Australia. It's been blocked by the polluters.

The Gillard Government is now proposing a ''hybrid'' model - a fixed carbon price moving over time to an emissions trading scheme - with the aim of legislating by the end of the year. History suggests that we shouldn't hold our breath.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:15 AM | | Comments (1)


The ALP is still wedded to its old CPRS scheme: what that means is that there is too much money going into the hands of vested interests in the form of an unnecessary short-term fix, and not enough invested in technologies that can help the transition to a low-carbon economy.