The conversation we have to have has certainly kicked off. Listening to the passion and divergent opinions on an ‘extreme future’ you have to wonder if we’ll ever agree, especially given “Australia emits less than 1.5% of global greenhouse gases, but is also a high per capita contributor because of the energy-intensive nature of our economy…”
Alan Kohler, writing for Crikey, says Garnaut’s draft is “disconnected from the real world, and will be almost completely ignored” while GetUp has issued a call for support “Go for Garnaut…Garnaut is already under fire from a ‘scare campaign’ being waged by the polluting industries’ lobby groups and the Opposition.” They have written an Info Sheet/Summary, a good idea…
The Report doesn’t go far enough, ultimately, on recommending the fundamental changes needed and suggest we consider the following before contacting the local MP.
• Climate change matters to you. Say why.
• The Garnaut Report is a wakeup call to Australians and should be adopted by the government at a minimum.
• We need an effective emissions trading scheme urgently. The scheme must start in 2010, not 2012 as proposed by the Opposition.
• Adopt strong targets for reducing greenhouse pollution – Australia’s emissions should begin to decline by 2010, and be cut 50% by 2020 over 1990 levels. The government’s current target of 60% by 2050 over 2000 levels is not enough to save our future.
• Reject the claims by polluters for free permits to pollute – they should bear the cost of greenhouse gas emissions, not our environment.
• Include as many sectors of the economy as possible in the emissions trading scheme, including transport and forestry.
• Use money raised from the emissions trading scheme to invest in energy efficiency, deploy large-scale renewable energy, help low income homes save energy, and restore Australia’s forest cover.
• The mandatory renewable energy target and other measures to increase renewable energy are really important – the emissions trading system won’t be able to reduce emissions without other measures.
Garnaut has a horror for all: for the Federal Government it’s the idea of fixed price permits for two years, so Kevin Rudd and his ministers can’t shift the blame to the “markets” — they would have to tax companies directly; for the states and power generators it’s the proposal to make ALL polluters buy permits — none get handed out for free; for motorists it’s the inclusion of petrol; for exporters it’s that only 30% of the money is earmarked for them; and for the rest of us it’s the fact that it’s really all about China, and it’s too late anyway — the Murray Darling Basin and the Great Barrier Reef are buggered already.
It’s not entirely Garnaut’s fault: he has the enthusiasm of the recent convert and began the task when the world was a different place.
He also walked into a trap. The use of the term “emissions trading scheme”, or ETS, is actually just a piece of political spin — something that will become clearer as time goes on. It should be called an emissions permit scheme because that’s the key thing that will happen. The fact that these permits can be traded on a market is not significant.
Politicians around the world are calling it an ETS to try to make it seem like it’s not their fault — that some all-powerful deity called The Market is making us pay for carbon emissions. And patsies like Ross Garnaut are being set up to take the blame…….”
Let it all hang out…