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Could We Have Had an ETS ?

December 3, 2010

Labor could have legislated for an ETS as soon as it came to power, opined the public servant. Enough was known about the available models. Or, more cautiously, the Rudd government could have proceeded with the Garnaut inquiry but kept it short and sharp. And wrapped up the issue in 2008. Before the disappointing outcome of Copenhagen and before swivel-eyed deniers took over the Coalition.

Easy to be wise after the event, of course. Sad to dwell on might-have-beens.

I bumped into Andrew Wilkie in the foyer of the Prime Minister’s office and said that this parliament would be judged by one issue : whether it prices carbon.

  1. December 3, 2010 12:38 pm

    I think Andrew Wilkie is right. Until we have a realistic price on carbon the alternatives are going to remain uncompetitive and unattractive to investors. The Rudd Govt. could have done it, even if they failed in the sentate they should have kept the policy alive. Abandoning it when the fight became hard showed something much worse than weakness. It showed that they did not really believe in the issue that they had talked up as the great issue of the new century.

  2. December 3, 2010 12:59 pm

    Yes Bob. In similar fashion, your government could have chosen to implement your very carefully-crafted forest policy following the ALP’s narrow election victory (backed by the greens and Greens) in 1995.

    But instead, sadly, both you and Kevin Rudd 12 years later chose to allow Penny Wong and like-minded cynical apparatchiks to rort the original stated intent of government policy, betraying crucial and previously negotiated commitments to the environment movement while gifting industry effective policy control over timber quotas / expenditure of environmental trusts funds (Carr Gov, 1995+) and emissions targets / subsidies for carbon polluters (Rudd Gov 2007+)

    And yes, Bob, I know you declared a lot of National Parks in your time in office. Thank you. But you had promised genuine, science-based sustainabliity for the timber industry and use of compensation funds to drive the transition to real sustainability. That you did not deliver. You also promised an end tyo woodchipping at Eden by 2000. Hmmmm.

    These days the ALP is primarily a second cable on the monorail delivering war mongering, pro-elite policies, socially-divisive and oppressive. I’ll be charitable and say that even decent, intelligent folk such as you weren’t able to prevent that – not even from a position of leadership.

    People who really care about peace, justice, democracy and sustainability deserve and demand better.

  3. Bob Carr permalink
    December 3, 2010 1:52 pm

    Ivan, that was my advice to Wilkie not his to me. I don’t know how he will go on this challenge but hope when and if the ALP and the Greens reach agreement on a package to put to the House he will be for it.

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