When the new carbon price policy was announced, I was fairly skeptical about it – especially given the failure of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Media reporting suggested that there were serious deficiencies in the policy, as many or more as the CPRS.
However, I’ve taken the time to acquaint myself more closely with the “Clean Energy Future” carbon price policy and am now much more supportive. It is a good step in the right direction, and while it is not perfect, it is a significant and important platform to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution.
There are a few elements of the package that I really like:
- Higher 2050 target: The new target is 80% reduction in carbon emissions on 2000 levels
- Creation of a $10 billion clean energy finance corporation, to directly stimulate the clean energy sector
- Fixed initial price that moves to a emissions trading scheme: a permanent fixed price would be a disaster and an ETS means a total cap on emissions
- Limitations on overseas carbon offsets that can be used in Australia, from 80% to 50%
- Individuals and groups can purchase and retire carbon permits, thereby hastening carbon reductions
Will this help us reach our target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C? Not by itself. International action is still required.
Bottom line: I’m glad to see that Australia has gone from being a laggard to a leader with this policy.