Carbon price promise is misleading

June 24, 2011

Feeling the heat from opposition leader Tony Abbott’s scare campaign against the government’s planned carbon price, PM Julia Gillard told ABC radio’s AM on June 24 that she “never meant to mislead anybody during the last election campaign about carbon pricing”.

This was a reference to her promise — made days before the 2010 election — that a Labor government would not set up a carbon tax.

In her defence, Gillard said the proposal is not really a tax but a carbon trading scheme (also known as “cap and trade”) that begins with a fixed price.

She said: “I’ve always thought the best way of putting a price on carbon was a cap and trade scheme where you cap the amount of carbon pollution coming out of your economy and we’re going to get there …

“We are going to get there through a path I didn’t expect during the election campaign, of a fixed price period for around three to five years.

“Well, what I meant then and what I mean now is climate change is real. We’re up to tackling it. We’re a nation that can tackle the big reforms. The big reform we need to reduce carbon pollution is to put a price on carbon.”

But the real problem with the government’s carbon trading plan is not that Gillard misled the public in the past — it’s that she is still misleading the public now.

The government’s carbon trading scheme will not cut emissions fast. In Europe, carbon trading is delaying a transition to renewable energy and is helping the biggest polluters make bigger profits.



As will happen under Gillard’s proposed plan, a huge number of pollution permits have been handed out for free under the European scheme.

Ten European cement, iron and steel companies were given surplus permits worth €4.1 billion between 2008 and 2010. This is about four times more than Europe’s entire environmental budget for the same period, says British climate research group Sandbag.

Green Left Weekly has long campaigned for the real solutions to the climate change emergency. Most of all, we need a huge program of public works to replace polluting industries with clean ones.

But we have also warned against relying on market mechanisms that allow big polluters to derail the transition to a zero-carbon future.

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Comments

Can Julia Gillard please tell the Australian Public as what would be the effect to the environment when the Carbon Tax is introduced. By the way, the big emmioters of Carbon are those that employ thounsands on people in Australia and contribute to our economy.

The net effect of Gillard and Brown's carbon tax grab to top up the government coffers to compensate for Labor's financial mismanagement will have no effect on reducing global warming, with the help of the Greens this is nothing more than wealth redistribution.

If all of Australia's industry was shut down tomorrow the effect on global warming would be almost immeasurable and our society would be plunged into chaos and anarchy with no income stream to provide for the introduction of so called carbon neutral energy production.

Left wing Green idealists really need to get in touch with reality, there is no doubt that the earth's climate has been affected by our industrial activity but without industry and industrialised agriculture the world would not be able to support it's current and projected population. If a major reduction of industrial activity is the Green's answer to AGW do they support widespread global genocide?

We should be looking at ways to adapt to climate change as well as slowing it.

Ken, Howden, Tasmania.

the carbion tax wont do ennting to macke big ploutears pay it,s bandaide sloushion for climeat change the left shoud macke shoud be aposing this tax that macking the working class pay for climeat criseast in in euroape all eu conreys have emnshion trading sceam it,s done nothing to rejusing emishions leveas we ned macking the milounaeris pay fore trashing the planeat by taxsing clive plama and andrew, twiggey, forastear , genear ryanhart pay with revnews go funding renwebals to fase out cole fosal fules time is running out we ned 100% renuwebeals by 2020 not more corpeat protchiasiom with this tax punshing odeany pepole with rising food prices and fule prices playing in hands climeat change dennialsts the socalliast allinces are right this tax is sick joke with owe nabouers in south pacfic wil pay higeast prices for owe sefshneas Kirbati ten years left befouer skinking beant ochean same for Tuvaul ,Maldives no more piss wek exucueas by sam bullock brisbande

Um, Ken, you really have no idea what greens and leftists are on about. No-one that I'm aware of is supporting abandoning all industry and agriculture. What it's about is changing from 19th century coal and 20th century oil energy sources to 21st century solar and wind power. Have a look at www.beyondzeroemissions.org
Ben, Footscray, Victoria