Category: Clean Energy Future

Aug 14 2013

Australia’s major parties plan 20 years of climate inaction

Australia’s two major political parties – the incumbent Labor government led by Kevin Rudd and Liberal-National Coalition opposition led by Tony Abbott – present themselves as having quite different policies on climate change. Labor, together with the Greens, has legislated a fixed carbon price soon to morph into an internationally-linked emissions trading scheme (ETS). The …

Continue reading

Aug 11 2013

Scrutinizing the business lobby’s election agenda

Australia’s federal election is fast approaching (recently rescheduled for 7 September). Recently the Business Council of Australia (BCA) released an “Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity”. Given the disproportionate influence of the business lobby on the non-green political parties, the BCA Action Plan deserves as much scrutiny as the policy documents released by political parties. The …

Continue reading

Jul 23 2013

Does Abbott have a point on invisible carbon?

In this post I do something I very rarely do: agree with Tony Abbott, leader of the (conservative) Liberal Party of Australia. Regular readers may be wondering if I have gone crazy, but bear with me for a moment. I don’t believe anything the Liberals say is particularly sincere; it’s more that a stopped clock …

Continue reading

Jul 16 2013

The greatest greenwash of our generation

Newly reinstated Australian Labor Party leader and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has today demonstrated yet again that he is the worst type of climate change denier: a skilled greenwasher. In 2007, Rudd rightly told the National Climate Change Summit: Climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation.  Climate change is not just an …

Continue reading

Jul 14 2013

Rudd ignites carbon trading time bombs

I must be psychic. In March when the Australian Industry Group demanded the Australian government immediately move from its fixed carbon price to its planned future emissions trading scheme (ETS), I wrote that “I was very pleased to see the AIG proposal met with tripartisan categorical rejection” but “I remain[ed] vigilant, even pessimistic” because of …

Continue reading

Jun 27 2013

Rudd’s return: bad news for climate action?

I probably don’t need to tell Australian readers that Kevin Rudd has been reinstated as Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Australian Labor Party, replacing Julia Gillard who succeeded him three years ago. I see Rudd’s return as a victory of appearance over substance, intuition over logic, personality over policy, treachery over teamwork, …

Continue reading

Jun 14 2013

What if the Liberals keep the carbon price?

As I have discussed previously, the Liberal Party of Australia have promised in certain terms to repeal the carbon tax. I still find it difficult to believe there is any way they can wiggle out of their extremely strong pronouncements on the matter, at least as long as Tony Abbott remains their leader. It seems …

Continue reading

May 17 2013

It’s still the climate, stupid

The Australian Labor government has yet again ignored climate change in its latest budget. Treasury’s forecast for the Australian carbon price in 2015 (when it is scheduled to become an internationally-linked emissions trading scheme or ETS) has been revised downward from $29/tonne to $12.10/tonne, a belated implicit admission that its decision to link to the …

Continue reading

Apr 18 2013

Is it time to abandon emissions trading?

Yesterday the European Parliament voted down a European Commission proposal to postpone the auction of 900 million permits for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from 2013-2015 until 2019-2020 (called “backloading”). The proposal was predictably opposed by Poland and other eastern European countries, and unfortunately also met resistance from conservative forces within some …

Continue reading

Apr 11 2013

Australia’s carbon price time bomb

Australia’s carbon price, presently fixed at $23/tonne, is the subject of many political talking points. The most important (and perhaps most confusing) disagreement is over whether or not the carbon price is effective. The Labor government and the Greens, who designed the policy, claim the carbon price is already cutting emissions, pointing to reports that …

Continue reading