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:
What limits politicians in their ability to address Global Warming? What reforms do we need to help them?
Karl “K1” Williams wrote this snappy short piece for a Greens Mag.
K1 develops our understanding on why we have to start somewhere in the trail towards a True Cost Economics system.