This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 8 years, 4 months ago.
March 16, 2011 at 10:02 pm #254678
The PM says taxing carbon polluters will create a price difference between high & low carbon produced goods thus creating an economic way of reducing carbon and maintaining Australia’s economic growth. If this was correct I encourage her to dial it up and tax the big CO2 polluters. BUT and its a big BUT.
If Australian manufactures are hit with a higher tax burden thanks to a carbon tax then imports from lesser developed countries become cheaper because we have no import duties, developing countries have no carbon taxes, they have lower wages & standards, and have to transport there cheap products thousands of miles thus adding to the carbon load. Therefore Oz manufacturing jobs are lost and more carbon emissions are created.
There is no doubt we have to do something about pollution, and I dont just mean CO2, but surely exporting jobs and importing loads of high carbon products is a bit unwise. What do you think?March 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm #492860
Ok… I work on the edges of the energy industry as an energy management consultant. I’ve looked into all this pretty thoroughly. I have to to advise my clients.
A carbon tax with an initial starting price of $10/t will make about a $10 absolute difference to the average household’s bill each year. You would need an initial starting price of over $40/t to get anywhere the $300/year impact Abbot is spraying around. Not even the greens are suggesting a starting price that high. I blogged about that just the other day (http://www.dontpanicitsolutions.com.au/blog)
There will be an impact on manufacturing industries. Particularly the steel industry which has very limited options for reducing its footprint. Any tax would need to have a compensation plan built in for those “trade exposed industries”. Although there are no details yet on the final package, all the proposals put forward contain significant compensation for those industries. If done right (and yes, a big if given the general competence of politicians) trade exposed industries should be able to continue trading as now with any additional costs compensated.
On the other side, having a carbon price, particularly when it moves to a cap and trade system gives our industries access to the global carbon market. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric flowing around at the moment. there is already a global market.There is already significant carbon trading being done by developed and developing countries. Even China is tapping into this with an effective carbon price of $14/t. Australia and the US are almost the only two developed countries not playing the game.
Access to the carbon market will let those companies of ours that can reduce their footprints, trade that saved carbon on the open market and make some extra money. Given our developed economy, easy access to massive solar resources and world leading science and technology, smart businesses here are well placed to do very well indeed out of this.
A carbon tax will also send a very clear price signal to the power industry and allow them to make the long term investment decisions they need to make. At the moment they don’t know whether to build more coal plants (if the carbon price stays at 0) or invest in renewables (carbon price > 0). With no price signal, the industry is investing in cheaper to build but more expensive to operate gas peaking plants. Relying on these will push electricity prices up as much as having a carbon price would.
In short, a carbon price of some kind is probably the best thing that could happen the the Australian economy at the moment. Its long overdue.March 17, 2011 at 10:30 am #492861
Thanks for your reply Airgead. You wrote; “….trade exposed industries should be able to continue trading as now with any additional costs compensated.” Doesn’t compensation defeat the purpose of the tax? A manufacturer pollutes, is taxed and then compensated. It sounds like a big political, bureaucratic & economic shambles if you ask me that will do nothing to secure Australia’s economic security or competitivness. And how will it reduce carbon emissions? Add to this the proposed future Carbon Trading Scheme that will allow brokers to skim money from the system.March 17, 2011 at 10:44 am #492862
Ahhh… therein lies the rub.
Yes. Compensation will mean that compensated industries will be less inclined to reduce their emissions. However,, the alternative is that they move their operations offshore to a country with less stringent environmental standards and this makes the global situation worse. The key here is that any compensation must be only for the difference between an Australian carbon price and a global carbon price. Once there is a real global price that is equal or higher than the Australian price, that compensation must end.
There are also industries that simply can not reduce their footprints. Steel is a particular example as the manufacture of steel involves burning carbon impurities from iron. This emits CO2 as a direct result of the chemical process. If we want steel, we have to have those emissions. There is simply no way we can do it without carbon emissions. Those industries will need some ongoing assistance to adjust. Industries like the power industry where there are low carbon alternatives should not be compensated forever.
If properly managed a carbon price can be very effective. A similar cap and trade scheme worked extremely well to phase out CFCs in the 80s and sulphur emissions in the 70s. In conjunction with good complementary measures (like alternative energy subsidies and government investment). The real challenge will be getting a government that actually implements it properly and doesn’t just give in to the industry lobbyists.March 17, 2011 at 11:09 am #492863
From my point of view an Australian carbon tax will do very little to reduce CO2 emissions and will have an unmeasurable impact on reducing naturally occuring climate change. The political & economic imperative is growth and this includes jamming more people onto the continent thus increasing demand & CO2 pollution. If the PM was serious about reducing CO2 emissions she must address the demand side of the equation and instigate such measures as mandatory steel recycling that (presumably) lessens CO2 output and natural storage sinks such as promoting organic agriculture.March 17, 2011 at 11:25 am #492864
It would be simple enough to introduce a carbon tax tariff on goods imported from nations that don’t have a carbon scheme of their own. Levels the playing field, and provides an incentive for those countries to introduce their own scheme.March 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm #492865
Geoff, an import carbon tariff is a good idea but it wont happen and it still does not address the fact that cheap high carbon low wage imported products will still end up on our shelves not low carbon fair wage Australian made products. Something has to be done but the proposed carbon tax as outlined by the PM & its compensation plan wont work.
In addition a carbon “Cap & Trade Scheme” will make the brokers rich and as the population & product demand increases the carbon cap will have to rise thus defeating the whole scheme and we end up further back than we started with more ambient CO2 and the loss of Australian jobs, skills & a diminished manufacturing base. At least we will have made a quid flogging our unrefined coal, gas & iron ore but that improvement in balance of trade will be diminished by our ever increasing reliance on imports. Its a frustrating shambles in mho.
We will of course create jobs by having to rehabilitate degraded farm land & aquifers from dubious coal seam (lower carbon) gas extraction practices by planting tolerant species but in the mean time have to import more (sub standard) food thus increasing our carbon footprint and reducing our food self reliance. I maybe drawing to long a bow here but It is in part quite an emotive issue.March 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm #492866
Interesting piece on carbon pricing from Ross Garnaut today on the Climate Spectator blog – http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/cutting-carbon-clever-way
Edit – And some interesting commentary on Garnaut’s latest update from Giles Parkinson – http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/expedient-path-carbon-pricing
This is a complex topic and unfortunately the debate in Australia has been reduced to two words – “tax” and “liar”. Unfortunately, complex problems aren’t dealt with very well by sound-bites…March 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm #492867
for some reason our government seems to put the interests and welfare of Australians last in its priority list.June 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm #492868
Gothmother post=307387 wrote: for some reason our government seems to put the interests and welfare of Australians last in its priority list.
Not only that but she(Dillard the liar) won’t even let the people have their say.80mill against 11Billion,I recon it’s worth the truth.June 21, 2011 at 1:21 am #492869
I thimk, Survelgalist, you are referring to us having a plebiscite on this ‘big, new’ carbon tax. We didn’t have one for a GST and it was way bigger of a cost/ burden on Australian society than the Carbon tax will be. And in any case the result is not binding. Therefore a waste of money.
Personally I just want to be able to face my two year old and say we tried!June 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #492870
Fair enough slowlynow but little old johny did take it to the election,it’s not like he said “There will be no GST under a government that I lead”.June 21, 2011 at 11:44 am #492871
this just goes on with a bt of a yawn the minority believers won’t yield and inch the majority non-believers are going to cop it sweet. right now the believers must be on cloud nine riding over the rest of us, feeding in the same gumpf and lambaking any opposing science by targettig the character of those scientists.
of course it is going to cost jobs, asia will only ever give lip service to it, and even if they should run with it their wages are so cheap that we will be the unemployment capitol of the world. because of food miles (surely a carbon issue even if volcanos aren’t – as if)farmers will shut up shop and go onto welfare our food will nearly all be imported.
they aren’t allowed by world gov’ standards to impose imort duties on other countries all that went by the by way back in keatings day was it or earlier doesn’t matter it is gone.
people will buy cheap because through the errosion of our welfareto people cheap is all they can afford right now so cheaper will be the go later.
no amount of scientific speculation from a consortium of science that has none or very littel respect for the poor and the majority will change the story. when real hard copy facts not translations are presented it might be worth looking at.
lenJune 26, 2011 at 2:51 am #492872
Carbon tax will be the least of our problems,not in the interim..prices will go up,the assistance that is promised that wont allow enough money to fund alternative energies R&D(That was a joke surely)will become un affordable and dwindle to non-existant and you will be forced way beyond reason to consume less,but wait.Big old Bob Brown last week hinted at stopping the coal industry all together.Well there go a few thousand jobs plus a few thousand more in associated industries and trust me..a few more thousand that you would not normally associate with the coal industry associates.
Funny thing is,with all their retoric..they haven’t even got a replacement to coal yet.Sunteck,the biggest manafacturer of solar panels is broke,going down the gurgler because predicted profits have dissapeared.Now you would naturally think that assisting housholds in Australia with the conversion to solar,even grid connect which would eleviate the upcomming preasure on Coal fired power producers and cut their caron emmissions worries,would be an optimum approach if they were at least in any way shape or form serious about carbon reduction.
No,don’t worry about the carbon tax thats comming..worry about the extra 30,40 maybe even 100 thousand ppl that are gonna be out of work because of the idiots that have run you blindly into the carbon conspiracy in the first place,the same idiots like big Bob,that want to force ppl out of work.
Nah,don’t worry about those ppl or the 100 thousand new arrivals we’ll have to look after as well in the comming year.If anyone can honestly look at what these buggers are doing and totally believe that,at least of all their stupidity,that a carbon tax is the BEST way of converting to renewable energies,I’ll be stone cold flabbergasted.
Beeing green is one thing but,submitting this country of ours to financial ruin in a global market and making the citezens pay for the downfall is social suicide.You get to vote democratically who you want in but,you have no say over their rediculas fascist ideology or their stupid legislation.
Who cut the solar rebates?Oh thats right,the same government thet want to change to renewable energies :jawdrop:Yet you think a carbon tax is a great idea,that is shear stupidity.
Here is another thread that will soon be locked for some obscure reason.June 26, 2011 at 8:08 am #492873
i still say lets find and deliver an affordable power supply affordable meaning every aussie can afford it without major compenstions, to hide the sting in the tail. then shut down coal fired power, then industry will use the new power as it will not cost jobs, guaranteed under this carbon tax folly, then and only then we need to develop other projects so quick on the heals of stopping all coal burning here we stop mining coal,makes no sense whatsoever to sell coalfor oterhs to pollute with while we go into living melt down.
that means no coal seam gas as well.
and yes of course our coal customes will find supply elsewhere in the world, so it all becomes quite futile realy doesn’t it. i would rather support the rehabilitation of the mass destruction of habitat so i could honestly look into my great grand kids eyes and they would say wow what a forward thinking group we were.
i think burdenig them with the albatross of the ancient mariner is going to be a legacy they will berate us for over decades to come, because they will see that it isn’t working.
all this as qld heads into a coal fired economy, where else is the money going to come from?
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