Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imagePast deals on emissions trading increased compensation to the electricity sector. Daniel L Smith / Shutterstock.com

Australia needs to “reset” discussions related to climate policy, according to the government’s advisory body on climate policy. The Climate Change Authority makes the argument in the second draft report of its special review on policy.

In a statement released today, acting chair Stuart Allinson said, “it is time for a fresh look at the range of policy options… with a view to ‘resetting’ Australia’s public discussion”.

“In recent years, the climate policy conversation has become highly polarised. Different policy options have attracted both strong support and criticism. At times it appears, amid the heated debate, we have lost sight of the key goal,” he said.

The authority is looking at a range of policies to meet Australia’s 2030 climate target including emissions trading schemes, renewable energy policy, energy efficiency schemes, and policies similar to the government’s current Emissions Reduction Fund.

As part of the same review in July 2015, the authority recommended Australia reduce its emissions 30% below 2000 levels by 2025, and 40-60% below 2000 levels by 2030. In August, the government announced a target of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030, equivalent to 22% below 2000 levels.

The government has outlined a range of policies to meet the target including extending the Emissions Reduction Fund beyond 2020, vehicle emissions standards, and other policies to be developed.

Katherine Lake, research associate in climate law at University of Melbourne said the review was an opportunity to put a “toxic and polarised debated behind us” after Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister.

She said Australia would ultimately need a price on carbon supported by both parties.

“To meet our 2030 reduction targets, and beyond, in a cost-effective manner, we will need bipartisan support to put a price on carbon, something Australia has only had for a brief time while Malcolm Turnbull was leader of the opposition.”

“A mandatory emissions trading scheme (similar to the EU, China, California) is likely to be most effective, but a broad-based baseline and credit scheme, similar to the government’s safeguard mechanism, could also be implemented.”

But Ben Parr, research associate at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, warned emissions trading discussions would need to avoid “revisiting a stale past”.

“Australia could reinstitute an emissions trading scheme, but it would have to be significantly more environmentally effective than the Rudd-Turnbull deal in 2009.”

The deal struck between then-opposition leader Turnbull and prime minister Rudd saw compensation to the coal industry and electricity sector increased by billions of dollars, and made further concessions to the gas industry.

Parr said the governemnt’s current policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund, was inadequate.

“It is a system that gives subsidies, public money, to big polluters to encourage them to emit less pollution. A better, principled, approach is the polluter-pays principle, which ensures that those doing the damage pay for it,” he said.

He also said the fund was “somewhat incompatible with the policy approach of Australia’s key strategic and trading partners such as the US, Europe, and China, which makes international linkage difficult – that is, the flow of ‘carbon credits’.”

The terms of reference for the review require the authority to consider whether an emissions trading scheme would harm Australia’s international competitiveness. According to Parr, “this does not bode well for strong action on climate change under the Turnbull government.”

As seen under governments since Hawke, Parr said this framing makes “some policies and international negotiating positions seem natural and necessary, while excluding others. Simply, this discourse determines what policies are possible, and what aren’t.”

The authority will issue its final report in June 2016.

Authors: The Conversation Contributor

Read more http://theconversation.com/australia-needs-a-fresh-start-on-climate-policy-authority-51487

Australia's smallest fish among 22 at risk of extinction within two decades


A 3-decade 'moving picture' of young Australians' study, work and life, thanks to LSAY


In COVID's shadow, global terrorism goes quiet. But we have seen this before, and should be wary


The Conversation


Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Link Building Secrets - Comprehensive Guide

Link building has proven to be an effective approach when it comes to promoting your online website. Let's analyze the topic of developing an effective link building strategy for site promotion ...

Julia Smith - avatar Julia Smith

What to Expect from Your NDIS Verification & Certification Audit

The National Disability Insurance Agency administers NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) in Australia. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission governs it. As a welfare support scheme of...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

Why You May Need A Tower Scaffold Hire

When constructing a building, or even a multilevel structure, you must use a tower scaffold to get you into position. What is unique about this type of scaffolding is that you can build it highe...

News Company - avatar News Company

News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion