Compromise Kev on Climate Change

Karl FitzgeraldCommentaryLeave a Comment

Ice sculpture in the making
Creative Commons License photo credit: net_efekt

Yesterday’s long awaited emissions trading white paper has left the future of the planet compromised.

The compromises on the 5% cut to greenhouse emissions typifies a government torn between lobbyists feathering their nests and the public’s wrestling of the issues via the omnipresent public opinion polls.

The trade-offs have been so extensive that no one is happy. The future of our dry continent has been jeopardised by weak leadership. The well funded smokestack industries are upset at the $8bn in extra costs they will face. Environmental groups are concerned that the cuts are so low.

Looking further into the detail, the handouts to the polluters in the form of free carbon permits threaten to undermine the whole process. Even more so, the $11.5bn in revenue raised will be handed back out to households ($6bn) and motorists ($2bn) such that only $3.5bn is raised. We might as well say that the ETS will only be set at 1% when taking into account these handouts.

Aluminium smelters whose electricity bills will rise with ET will be given that money back, in spades, receiving permits for one tonne of free emissions for every 0.7 tonnes included in their electricity bill. Come to Australia, polluters’ paradise!

says Tim Colebatch (The Age). All this and more when Alcoa already receives massive handouts from the Victorian taxpayer in the form of low resource rents on the dirty coal being extracted from their Anglesea mine.

A carbon tax, backed up with a system of Resource Rentals is a much more direct way to deal with this vital vital issue. Survival of humankind demands we look outside the square. Politics is only going to get more radical.

Bribathon Brumby’s recent free lunch handout to Victoria’s property lobby has ensured the urban sprawl forever mantra continues. It seems that those genuinely concerned about our future should form a lobby group and start donating to the political parties. It may well be the only way to get politicians to listen.

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