Jan 25, 1995 – greenhouse and electricity reform policies battle. Greenhouse loses…

Twenty two years ago today, behind the scenes, a crucial ‘non-decision was made. According to an  excellent report in the Australian Financial Review (it makes truly rueful reading) 

AUSTRALIA’S electricity reforms and greenhouse policy appear to be headed in contradictory directions. While senior Federal ministers concede that a carbon tax would not be a single solution to meeting greenhouse targets, demand management reforms that would have a substantial impact on greenhouse emissions have been proposed by a working party of the National Grid Management Council.

Yet the latest drafts of that report suggest that the NGMC will step back from critical recommendations.

The article goes on to explain that in early December the demand management working party  of  the NGMC had produced a draft (the third) that listed budget allocations, an energy efficiency levy or tax incentives as three options which could promote energy efficiency.

But when the “final draft” was produced on January 25 by the NGMC itself – in preparation for its ultimate submission to the Council of Australian Governments – each of these recommendations was substantially different.

Gill. M. 1995. The meek take the running on electricity reform. The Australian Financial Review, 13 February, p.12.

The National Energy Market finally came into play in late 1998, and (in)famously its core statement, ‘the code‘,  was silent on emissions reductions.

That silence, like the silence on targets and timetables in the UNFCCC text, means that you end up with repeated reports and reviews which try to retrofit what should have been there at the outset onto an existing and moving architecture.  Thus the Finkel Review should be seen as merely the latest in a long long line of attempted patches…

See also: Hugh Saddler in the Conversation

Also on this day –

The Australian Coal Association (since absorbed into the Minerals Council of Australia) released a press release trying to chivvy the Gillard government along.

Reform of environmental approvals must be kept on track

A proposed change to Australia’s national environment law would jeopardise the reform of environmental approvals for mining projects, according to a submission by the Australian Coal Association (ACA) to a Senate inquiry.

“State and federal governments have been working to address the duplication and inefficiency that exists in State and Commonwealth laws,” said the ACA’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Nikki Williams.

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