Australia "out of step" with the rest of the world on emissions trading

Spinning like a launderette

Just four days ago, Penny Wong said this, in The Australian:

It is clear the global trend is towards greater action to combat climate change, not less.

And on emissions trading, more than 30 countries already have an emissions trading scheme in operation and others, including the US, Japan and South Korea, are working towards implementing their own schemes. (see here)

At the time I questioned the figure she quoted, suggesting that most of those countries were in the EU scheme, but Christian Kerr does the digging and discovers that apart from the EU, there is just one, one, emissions trading scheme in operation, and that’s in New Zealand, and it’s only half working. So to say that the global trend is towards greater action was an outright L-word:

AUSTRALIA is looking increasingly isolated in the global community as Kevin Rudd presses on with his government’s emissions trading scheme.

US President Barack Obama admitted just two days ago he might have to abandon his proposal for emissions trading in favour of direct action in order to steer his carbon-cutting plans through the US Senate.

None of the world’s top five polluters — the US, China, Russia, India and Japan — has an ETS.

New Zealand is the only nation in the world with an operating emissions trading scheme, excluding those affiliated with or planning to link to the European Union’s ETS.

Most of New Zealand’s provisions have not yet come into effect, and the Labour-legislated scheme was significantly amended by the National Party-led government last September after fears about its impact on low-income households and primary industry.

And the article blows the lid off Penny’s misrepresentation of the numbers:

The Australian Department of Climate Change’s website tells the story on emissions trading. Of the 37 countries on its list of nations that have established or are proposing an ETS, 30 are linked to the EU scheme.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the Prime Minister was “intentionally, deliberately and consistently” misrepresenting the European emissions trading scheme.

“In Europe, they’ve had a mock trading scheme which largely only provides incentives for people to reduce their emissions, with almost no penalty for firms which continue on their economic activity,” Mr Hunt said.

The Rudd government’s position on climate is looking increasingly lame and out of touch with reality, and secretly I would bet Kev would love to see the whole thing ditched – it will be a political disaster. But he cannot be seen to do that, having branded climate change “the greatest moral challenge of our generation”, so I think they will just let the Coalition defeat it in the Senate and hopefully move on to other things.

Read it here.

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