Sunday, June 8, 2008

Progress of the Australian ETS

During the week Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia 'State of the Nation' Conference "the more emissions intensive industries who aren't making a contribution to emissions reductions through the ETS, the more work needs to be done by those industries [that] are making a contribution".

Eminently sensible.

Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen on the other hand suggested during the week that the transport sector could be left out of the ETS. Asked whether this was consistent with the statements of other ministers he told the Australian "I have been consistent with what other ministers have been saying and that is that it is an open question, we are having a genuine process and there are genuine policy questions about how responsive petrol is to price increases and, given the big increases in petrol prices we have already had, whether another increase is going to do any good."


Bowen seems to be at the bottom of several outbreaks of what I will call petrol populism from the Australian Government in the last fortnight. A leak of cabinet papers has already shown him to be engaged in robust exchanges with other Ministers about exactly this populist approach. At the moment he seems to have very strong support from Rudd on this.

Read the Australian's profile on Bowen.

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