Repealing the carbon tax: hidden costs and unanswered questions

● By Prof. Rosemary Lyster ● There are reasons Australia has a price on carbon. Let’s recap. The IPCC has released its Fifth Assessment Report stating that the increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide is unprecedented in the last 800,000 years. Data sets show a globally averaged combined land and ocean surface warming of 0.85C between 1880–2012. There’s a 95-100% probability that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 is human induced. By 2081-2100, under the IPCC’s best case emissions scenario, temperatures could rise by as much as 1.7C and in the worst case scenario by 4.8C. Our last summer broke 123 extreme weather records in 90 days. Last month was Australia’s hottest ever September on record. So what are our current emissions? Australia’s December 2012 National Greenhouse Gas Accounts show that since 1990, emissions from the electricity sector grew 47.3%, the stationary energy sector 44.5%, transport 47.5%, fugitive emissions (including from coal mining) 30.5% and industrial processes 30.8%. These sectors are all covered by the carbon price mechanism (CPM). Let’s recap the Abbott government’s agenda to reduce our emissions. The Climate Commission has been abolished. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will be abolished. We no longer have a Department of Climate Change. Yesterday, the draft legislation to repeal the carbon price mechanism, to be the first item of business for the 44th Parliament, was revealed. This means, briefly, that if the legislation passes the following will occur. There will be no annual cap on Australia’s escalating emissions. Financial year 2013-14 will be the last year that the carbon price mechanism applies and all charges for non-compliance will be repealed. The government will not extend what it calls the “carbon tax” even if the Parliament does not pass the repeal bills until after 1 July 2014 ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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