The Australia Institute’s Richard Dennis makes some key comments in An idea whose time never came.
Minister Wong is now arguing that, under her scheme, individuals who lower their energy use will enable the government to reduce the number of permits the following year, effectively raising the cap and allowing individuals to “do their bit.” This is a great idea. But the problem for the minister is that nobody knows what she is talking about. The question for her is simple: On which page of the white paper is this spelled out?
If the federal government is to be taken seriously where the CPRS is concerned, it needs to make some significant changes both to the targets, which are pathetically small, and to the structure. The scheme needs to be modified so that when individuals, communities and any level of government make significant efforts to reduce emissions, the number of permits issued in subsequent years reduces accordingly. For example, when Kevin Rudd announced that $3.9 billion was to be spent on insulation in order to decrease emissions by four million tones per year, he should have simultaneously announced that the number of permits issued would fall by four million per year.
For all our new friends from the SLF, we recommend you read this article. Stay tuned for our next piece on the ETS and the need for a carbon tax.