From Watts Up With That?
Essay by Eric Worrall
A punitive industry carbon cap set to drop 30% by 2030 isn’t enough – “these biggest polluters account for only 28 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.”.
An apology to my grandkids for not fighting in the war of our times
February 1, 2023 — 5.00am
While I was on holiday, I noticed a tweet that left me in no doubt about the subject of my first column back. It said: “I genuinely think the next generation will not forgive us for what we have done to them and the world they will have to live in.”
“Well, I was very busy writing about the shocking cost of living – oh, and rising interest rates.” Really? Is that the best excuse you can offer, Grandad?
While the rest of us were at the beach, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen announced a few weeks ago that Australia’s 215 biggest industrial polluters – running coal mines, gas plants, smelters and steelworks – will have their emissions capped, with the caps lowered progressively by 30 per cent come 2030.
Businesses whose emissions exceed their cap will face heavy fines. To the extent they can’t use cleaner production processes to reduce their emissions, they’ll be allowed to buy “carbon credits” from other heavy polluters who’ve been able to reduce their emissions by more than required, or from farmers who’ve planted more trees.
Trouble is, it wasn’t long before the experts started pointing to all the holes in the scheme. For a start, the combined emissions of these biggest polluters account for only 28 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/an-apology-to-my-grandkids-for-not-fighting-in-the-war-of-our-times-20230130-p5cgn4.html
Between the lines, Ross seems to want the industry carbon cap extended to individuals or small businesses? Why else complain that the industry cap only covers 28% of emissions?
But the real question, what will be the impact of this new Aussie carbon cap one the economy?
Big businesses could stay in Australia and face the carbon cap and fines. Or they could stop investing in Australia, and relocate Australia’s remaining industry to nearby Asian industrial hubs. All the jobs would be sent offshore, and industry bosses would continue making uncapped profits and emitting as much as they want.
Gee that’s a hard one. I wonder which option company directors caught in the noose of the new carbon credit system will choose?
Of course the Aussie government is allowing industry to buy their way out of the cap, by purchasing carbon credits. Given the carbon credit industry is allegedly awash with cheap fake carbon credits, maybe the cap won’t be such a burden after all – just another piece of meaningless paperwork, and some payoffs to carbon fraudsters, to buy their cheap fake carbon credits.
Or maybe reporter Ross Gittins will insist the fake carbon credit system is properly audited, to prevent allegedly rampant carbon fraud – which could lead to increased attacks against peaceful African tribes, to drive all the humans out of carbon credit forests, so owners can describe their carbon credit farms as “uninhabited”.
Now that would be something worth apologising for.
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