Monday, December 22, 2008

Political Emissions

The soft Australian target of a 5% reduction of year 2000 emissions by 2020 has been received with dismay in many quarters. The various corporate hand-outs for "trade exposed emissions intensive industries" along with various offsets for the consumer that look like yet more middle class welfare, also seem pretty unappealing to me. The whole point is supposed to be to create economic incentives to reduce emissions and achieve increases in growth while reducing carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of GDP. This scheme looks to be minimizing those incentives at every turn.

I don't agree with everything there but Anna Rose has a good summary in New Matilda. There have been dramatic shifts since the Green paper, for example
It's worth noting that LNG companies like Woodside and Santos are huge winners from the scheme, as they had been excluded from receiving assistance in the Government's Green paper in July. Now, they'll receive 60 per cent of their permits for free, despite being well positioned to make windfall gains from emissions trading since LNG is a less polluting fuel than coal and oil.

Writing in the Australian Financial Review, John Quiggin, takes issue with the Garnaut/Rudd-Labor argument for low per-centage but high per-capita emissions reductions. The AFR has some pernicious new trick though that stops me cutting and pasting the most apposite part. Shame!

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