Garnaut’s comments put pressure on Green Party to pass an ETS this year
Ross Garnaut’s two-stage carbon plan, expressed in the first of eight Update Papers to his 2008 report, increases pressure on Senator Christine Milne and the Green Party to allow a price on carbon to get through the Senate this year.
The Green Party has rejected it on two occasions. The last time was December 2009. If it had passed we would be pricing carbon now. If it had passed, Victoria would be closing its filthy coal-fired power stations. If it had passed, a $200 million Santos liquefied natural gas plant would be under construction in Queensland. It would be 70 per cent less polluting than coal. It was cancelled when the Green Party blocked the ETS.
Thanks to the Green Party’s purity, Australia has not made a start with a carbon price.
For those who say the Rudd plan of 2009 was defective or incomplete or imperfect or flawed, consider Garnaut’s argument: “making a start with a carbon price, even something that won’t get us all the way in one step…” is the important thing. That’s the essence: “making a start.”
Professor Garnaut, delivered the report ‘Weighing the costs and benefits of climate change action’ to the government on February 3. You can read it at http://www.garnautreview.org.au/
Speaking yesterday he said climate change cannot be directly blamed for recent flooding or Cyclone Yasi but scientific evidence shows such extreme events are associated with warming.
“The greater energy in the atmosphere and the seas can intensify extreme events and I’m afraid that we’re feeling some of that today, and we’re feeling that at a time when global warming is in its early stages.”
I tackled the link between climate change and the recent floods under “Climate Change and Floods” (January 21). See below.
With Green Party votes in the Senate, Australia can go from being laggard to leader but the party will be tested: a party of permanent protest or one that can help shape actual policy.