Thursday, September 06, 2012

Australian carbon policy makes coal plants more profitable

"Australia's highest-emitting brown coal electricity generators are between $400 million and $1 billion better off than they would have been if there were no carbon tax, new modelling shows."

- Lenore Taylor and David Wroe, Carbon tax [price] leaves big polluters better off, SMH, 6th September 2012.

Some days, I think Australia's climate policy is a joke: a sick joke to be aiming for a 5% reduction from 2000 levels by 2020 when the UK has legislated targets for a 50% reduction from 1990 levels by 2027, and a sick joke to allow a majority of that target to come from international offsets, and a sick joke to plan on doubling Australian coal exports over the next decade when we are already the largest coal exporter in the world (and our coal exports don't count towards our targets). Australians have the highest per capita carbon footprint in the OECD (even ignoring our coal exports) and yet our targets for emissions reductions are some of the weakest.

This is indeed a major Gillard failure, taking baby steps when we need to be running. It is an even bigger failure of Australian culture, since we collectively choose (and vote for) short term personal acquisitiveness (a.k.a. greed) over justice and prudence (a.k.a. doing our fair share of working for a habitable planet).

Fortunately, the good news of Jesus has a lot to say to those who steal from their neighbours and can't see very far.