Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Ouch! A great submission on CPRS Mark 2

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-05-27


Tim Kelly’s submission to the Carbon Polluter Rewards Scam Mark 2 Senate inquiry (see my earlier posts on the new inquiry and a review of many of the submissions to the original inquiry) is a beauty, and I wonder if it is the first to shove a pop culture (well, latte-sipping ABC watcher pop culture) reference in the face of the politicians, most of whom deserve it.

(Bolding in the blockquotes is mine)

Australian Carbon Trust
Sounding like something dreamed up in an episode of "The Hollow Men", the Government has proposed the Australian Carbon Trust where Australians can donate money that will be used to "fund efficiency improvements in commercial buildings and businesses". Well at first glance this sounds good but this does not reduce emissions under the Government’s scheme so it is really just more charity for businesses. Which ones, we don’t know!

But Kelly also digs the boots in with logic, in many places, but the following is a good example:

Changes to GreenPower
The Government will now retire an Australian Emissions Permit associated with GreenPower sales above a threshold.  This means that the indirect benefit of GreenPower that as previously described by the Department of Climate Change will reduce the demand for permits.  This will in turn reduce the carbon price, reducing the cost to the economy of achieving the same level of abatement.  As the cost to the economy decreases it becomes increasingly feasible to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets is now cancelled because a permit is now going to be removed to increase the demand for permits.  This will in turn increase the carbon price, increase the cost to the economy of achieving the same level of abatement.  As the cost to the economy increases it becomes less feasible to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets.
 
So with the Government’s proposed change, we end up back where we started from.  Decreased scarcity to ultimately reduce emissions is undone with re-introduced scarcity.  I am astounded that the Australian Government has used the same logic at once in two different directions claiming that either way emissions will be reduced.

Yep, there is a grammatico in there, but I’m guilty of the same thing.

The submission by Kelly should be read in full, and I hope the pollies are reading it already (something they would be doing if they took their responsibilities seriously.

I’m thinking of writing a short submission saying "What Tim Kelly said. Thanks. Over and out.".

I’ll leave you will Kelly’s analysis of KRudd’s wongky response about the futility of individual action under the CPRS Mark I, which Mark II doesn’t really address except with smoke and mirrors:

If my family and I go a bit hungry and shiver in the dark and manage to halve our personal emissions this doesn’t count under the Government’s new implied perspective on voluntary action.  Instead of being able to use our savings to pay off our mortgage, to reduce emissions we then need to donate our savings to the Energy Efficiency Savings Pledge Fund presumably managed by the Australian Carbon Trust where it will be used to buy a permit which forces up electricity prices, does nothing tangible to reduce emissions and makes the situation less feasible to reduce the cap in the future.

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