Sunday, August 12, 2007

Carbon trading …

John Howard denies claims that he was always a climate change sceptic. Really?

It’s amazing what you read in old newspapers. I was about to throw out an old copy of the Weekend AFR from early June 2006 when I noticed a story by Lenore Taylor under the headline “Shift on carbon trading”.

It turns out that the Howard government had for years rejected a carbon emissions trading scheme. It was only after such a scheme was recommended by the PM’s nuclear energy inquiry recommended the government consider the idea that Environment Minister Ian Campbell “welcomed the idea”.

Here’s what Campbell said …

I absolutely believe that we have to design a carbon price signal for
Australia that does not create the perverse effect of driving greenhouse
emissions offshore, closely followed by jobs and investment.

What the …? Is the Minister saying greenhouse emissions are associated with jobs and investment?

It gets better …

Government policy is that it is too early to implement emissions trading because
it would harm Australia’s economic competitiveness, and Treasurer Peter Costello
dismissed the idea the inquiry could consider a carbon tax.

All this despite the fact that …

… business groups have recently called on the government to embrace a carbon
price signal by the end of the year.

Yep, Mr Howard has been asleep on climate change. And it seems his deputy has been sleeping with him.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

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