This year’s True Cost Economics forum saw both young and old dig deep within the pros and cons of carbon trading.
Keynote guest speaker Frank de Jong gave a compelling presentation on the importance of getting green Economics right. “We need to charge at the point of source so that we green the entire manufacturing process”. Carbon taxes over trading was his perogative, with tax shifting ensuring . Visit Frank’s Tools of Sustainability Tour report, including extensive multimedia page to download movies of talks and hear radio interviews.
Next was the politicians panel – ‘what do they see as possible and pragmatic’. The Greens Richard Di Natale said that the new Howard Governments Carbon Trading policy was a Claytons scheme – the scheme you have when you don’t have a plan – no targets, no objectives. Permits needed to be sold, not given away. Senator Lyn Allison (Democrats) snuck onto stage and soon jumped into the heart of the discussion by talking about the need for a number of Trading systems, including an Energy Efficiency Trading System, promoting financial incentives for manufacturers to produce energy efficient goods.
Then we had the youth panel on Policy Pathways, where Siska Waddington (SKM) gave a pragmatic response discussing the need to go with Carbon Trading, as Carbon Taxing sets no limit to the total amount of carbon. Carbon Trading incorporates sinks and offsets and gives us an objective. Also, the decision to go with Carbon Trading over taxes had already been made. This created some controversy as the view for a carbon tax was challenged. Well done Siska!
The last panel looked at the Policy Possibilities, where David Spratt (Carbon Equity) delivered a devastating presentation on the perils we face. He proposed that this urgency requires the need for a Carbon Rationing system. It certainly got the attention of the crowd! Donna Lorenz (Maunsell Engineering) stated that the carbon polluters, the smokestack industries, are hurting agricultural and rural industries that face the force of extreme weather ie recent floods in Newcastle. Adrian Whitehead from Zero Emissions Network finished off with a positive interpretation of policies making a difference. Included in this was the need for more localised communities, hinting at Frank’s desire for walkable communities linked by rail.
These presentations were so good that we have made them available for a short time:
True Cost Event Page
True Cost Economics is an economic model that seeks to include the cost of negative externalities into the pricing of goods and services. Products and activities that directly or indirectly cause harmful consequences to living beings and/or the environment should be accordingly taxed to reflect the somewhat hidden costs.
Natural resources need to be at the centre of our thinking, not written off as an ‘externality’ or mined for exorbitant profits.
The 2007 TCE Forum will feature Frank De Jong, leader of the Ontario Greens (Canada). He is an expert on environmental economics, having coined the term ‘the invisible green hand’ of market forces. Frank has over 20 years experience in Canadian elections and will bring a balance of political know-how and economic theory. As Frank says “Let the market do the hard work for us in changing our thinking towards environmental responsibility”.
Economics needs to direct the behaviour of consumers towards looking after the planet. Is Carbon Trading enough? A new economic paradigm is needed to ensure a liveable planet for future generations. It is time to discuss and plan for this evolution.
Frank De Jong will give his positive keynote “The Invisible Green Hand V the Time Famine”, then 3 panels will follow:
Policy Pathways: Carbon Trading v Carbon taxes. A crucial point in time demands we make the correct decision.
Siska Waddington (SKM)
Amanda McKenzie (Australian Youth Climate Coalition)
Tom Curtis (Earthsharing Australia)
Policy Possibilities: What are the cutting edge policy options? Also, the practical examples of effective green economics at work.
David Spratt (Carbon Equity)
Donna Lorenz (Maunsell Engineering)
Adrian Whitehead (Beyond Zero Emissions)
Policy Makers: What do the politicians see as possible and pragmatic? Is it genuinely possible to make policy that will stop runaway climate change? Eg, co2 below 550eppm
Senator Lyn Allison – Leader of the Australian Democrats
Evan Thornley – Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier (ALP)
Dr Richard Di Natale – Lead Senate Candidate – The Greens
15 minutes question time will follow each panel.
Swanston Hall – Melbourne Town Hall (to the left of the main stairs, enter from Swanston St)
9.15 – 1pm
Science is leading the way with the evidence of global warming. The rapidly increasing cost of insurance is alerting us of the dangers to ignoring nature’s law.
The true cost of avoiding a transition towards a responsible economic system is quickly becoming apparent. Let’s insure against the power of nature by following the money trail and scientifically re-directing it towards a profitable future for all generations.
Free RSVP necessary