January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

What will Wong’s CPRS actually do?

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The CPRS is increasingly looking like the answer to a question that nobody asked, namely, what would be the best way to introduce a complex and expensive national scheme that sounds like a solution to climate change without really changing anything? But as the Senate vote gets closer the first question that the Climate Change

The climate science sceptics

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The science says that we need to reduce emissions by around 40 per cent by 2020 if we want even a fifty per cent chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The Government has ignored that advice both in setting the targets for their so called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and in developing Australia’s negotiating

September 2009

July 2009

Selfless winds of change

by Josh Fear in Sydney Ideas Quarterly

the ‘cap-and-slice’ proposal actually resembles the public’s perception of how emissions trading works more closely than the CPRS. Three-quarters of respondents to a recent Australia Institute survey said that Australia’s total emissions would go down if every household reduced its electricity use. Only 13 per cent gave the answer that corresponds to the CPRS: that

June 2009

The CPRS–Where to from here?

by Richard Denniss

The CPRS has fundamental flaws that need to be addressed. A mechanism to ensure that the efforts of individuals and state governments to reduce emissions result in lower emissions, not extra permits for other polluters, needs to be introduced. Similarly, the decision to insulate the petrol price from the introduction of a carbon price needs

March 2009

Wong must cap and slice

by Richard Denniss in The Australian

The CPRS in its current form is deeply flawed. If the government wants to see the legislation passed, it is going to have to amend its proposal. In order to take advantage of every additional emissions reduction and allow every concerned citizen to make a direct contribution, the government needs to convert its ‘cap and

February 2009

An idea whose time never came

by Richard Denniss in Analysis & Policy Observatory

It is often said that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. But it seems that in the case of Minister Wong’s version of emissions trading, the so called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), there is nothing more pitiful than an idea whose time never actually came. The targets are

Making life easier for emitters

by Richard Denniss in Analysis & Policy Observatory

The unfortunate reality is that, having waited a decade for a government to express a willingness to do something about climate change, we are now faced with a choice between a policy that locks us into failure by dictating that emissions in Australia cannot fall by more than five per cent and abandoning the CPRS

June 2008

January 2008

Garnaut loses the plot

by Clive Hamilton in Crikey

Ross Garnaut, who will report in June to the Rudd Government on its emissions trading system, is a former trade economist now spending a lot of time thinking about how to prevent powerful industries undermining the Government’s plans. He has come up with a radical solution. Let’s have one target, a carbon budget aimed at

November 2007

September 2007

Aviation and global warming: a change in the air?

by Christian Downie and Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Comments this week by Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggest that the Government is beginning to realise the incompatibility between endless growth in the aviation sector and the prevention of dangerous climate change. Even if Australia adopts a lower target of 60% reductions by 2050, as the Labor Party has proposed, aviation could still gobble

Hidden doom of climate change

by Clive Hamilton in The Courier-Mail

The Prime Minister, various ministers and the fossil fuel lobby have for years claimed that cutting emissions would be economically ruinous, cause massive job losses and destroy our international competitiveness. None of these claims is backed by credible evidence and can easily be shown to be false.

March 2007

Cooking the greenhouse books

by Andrew Macintosh in On Line Opinion

The Government dismissed the Institute’s report, claiming we don’t understand the Kyoto accounting rules and didn’t make adjustments for differences in methods. These claims are false (and are addressed in a paper available on the Institute’s website). Even if they were correct, the fact remains that NCAS is a black box: its data are not

January 2007

December 2006

Lack of political will leads to problems for Earth

by Andrew Macintosh in The Canberra Times

Back in 1999, the Government overhauled the original Commonwealth environment laws that were introduced by the Whitlam Labor government. The old laws needed updating and the Government obliged, creating the loftily titled Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. While an improvement on the original laws, the EPBC Act has proven to be a failure, largely

November 2006

Dressing windows while the globe burns

by Andrew Macintosh in The Canberra Times

The recent rush of activity around climate change has led some to suggest that the Federal Government has finally got the message on the perils of global warming, but history indicates such optimism is misplaced. The Government’s announcements of the past month are just more of the window-dressing and stalling tactics that we have had

August 2006

A trump card in the nuclear power play

Green consumerism such as that advocated by Tim Flannery privatises responsibility for environmental decline, shifting blame from elected governments and industry onto the shoulders of individual citizens. The cause of climate change becomes the responsibility of “all of us”, which, in effect, means nobody. It is obvious why a government that wants to do nothing

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