Jan 16, 2006 – Liberal Treasurer supports a carbon price. Or does he?

On this day in 2006, the then Australian Treasurer, and presumptive heir apparent to the Prime Ministership, Peter Costello made a speech in Los Angeles, supporting price signals for energy.

“A market based solution will give the right signal to producers and to consumers. It will make clear the opportunity cost of using energy resources, thereby encouraging more and better investment in additional sources of supply and improving the efficiency with which they are used. That has to be good for both producers and consumers and better for the environment.”

These words were thrown back at him 7 months later by Labor MP Anthony Albanese, who in a press release on 16th August entitled “Costello & Howard at odds over emissions trading”.  This was at a time when climate change was exploding into public consciousness (thanks to the drought, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and so on.  Labor would continue to make political capital of this, increasing its tempo after Kevin Rudd toppled Kim Beazley as ALP leader in December of 2006. But back to Albo –

It is not surprising Peter Costello made this statement as in August 2003 a Cabinet submission to establish a national emissions trading scheme was co-sponsored by four Departments – Treasury, Environment, Industry & Foreign Affairs.

Unfortunately, the joint Cabinet submission was scuttled by the Prime Minister who is stuck in the past and unable to embrace the future.

Yes, that 2003 decision.  Something we will come back to…

Also on this day –

1992 The Australian Capital Territory’s first draft greenhouse strategy was launched.

Lamberton, H. 1992. Draft greenhouse strategy issued. Canberra Times, 17 January, p.5.

1995

“REPRESENTATIVES of a substantial group of Australian industries meet in Canberra today to draft a joint response to invitations issued by the Minister for the Environment, Senator Faulkner, for separate talks over the next fortnight on his carbon tax proposal”

Callick, R. 1995. Industry forces gather to slow carbon tax momentum. Australian Financial Review, 16 January, p.8.

2004- “Emissions trading scheme back on agenda for Australian states”

New South Wales state premier Bob Carr is backing a state-led greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme for Australia says a paywalled site. Presumably this was to announce the launch of the state-based National Emissions Trading Taskforce.

 

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