Thursday, 19 February 2009

Opposition puts carbon tax on the table

If Rudd is NOT a dud, then his CPRS certainly seems to be.

It's coming under increasing scruitiny and pressure from all sides - although perhaps not from the polluting industries which stand to profit from it!

Now the Federal Opposition is chiming in, having recognised an opportunity to torpedo the Rudd Government's central response to climate change. They now want carbon taxes to be put on the table along with any other suitable measure. Well done! How things have changed since they were in power under PM Howard!

Cap and trade schemes are complicated, open to abuse and not yet proven in their capability to actually reduce emissions. We know this because Ross Garnaut admitted as much when he launched his climate change Review last year. But, he said, since everyone else (who had bothered, so far) had chosen cap and trade, then Australia should too, so we could link into a global system.

He also said the scheme should be kept as pure as possible and not contain any significant market distortions. Obviously the goverment and big business were not listening when he said this. The Australian CPRS was a sop to the business lobby and, even if it were successful, would lead to a miserable 5% reductions (from year 2000 levels) by 2010. Why bother?

Far more popular - among those who worry about these things - are carbon 'taxes' and carbon rationing. With a bit of luck and some hard lobbying, we may just have the whole ball of wax thrown into the bin (unfortunately, along with the millions of dollars of taxpayer's money it cost to create and market) and get something better, done right next time. And with some urgency!

For more on the breaking news, see this story from the ABC (we took their title too!).

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