Category Archives: CPRS

May 22, 2009 – ‘skyfall’ economic modelling’ around the CPRS

The mining industry has been releasing economic “studies” about climate change since 1989, when CRA (later to be renamed Rio Tinto) started the ball rolling.  They are usually exquisitely timed around some important decision that the government is about to make – signing up to the UNFCCC, thinking about a carbon tax, whatever.

Well, in 2009, just after Kevin Rudd had released the CPRS legislation, there was a front page story on the Australian, faithfully reporting the “findings” of another study.

Taylor, L. 2009. Climate change warning: ETS to `cost 24,000jobs’. The Australian, 22 May p1.
THE Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme will cost 23,510 mining jobs over the next decade — almost half of them in Queensland — according to new modelling released as parliament prepares to decide the fate of the controversial climate change legislation.

On page 12 the then head of the Minerals Council of Australia got to say his bit too.
Hooke, M. 2009. Carbon plan will cause jobs carnage. The Australian, 22 May, p. 12.

Why change a winning strategy, I guess….

Also on this day-
Dunn, R. 1989. Plebiscite mooted. Australian Financial Review, 22 May.
The Federal Minister for the Environment, Senator Richardson, has floated the idea of holding a referendum to increase the Commonwealth’s powers to override the States on environmental issues such as the greenhouse effect.
He raised the idea at an environmental conference at the weekend.

2000
“Prior to a Cabinet meeting on 22 May [2000] where the greenhouse trigger was to be discussed, the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson publicly criticised the proposal, describing it as ‘unnecessary and inappropriate’ and suggesting it would harm the economy, particularly in regional [page break] areas. In a press release issued on 22 May, Anderson said that ‘it was not necessary or appropriate for the Commonwealth to effectively take over the State’s role in the environmental assessment and approval of major developments.”
(Macintosh, 2007: 49-50)

Dobbin, M. 2007. BP, Rio in clean coal power bid; Project based on Canberra research. Canberra Times, 22 May.
BP and Rio Tinto announced joint plans yesterday for a $2billion coal- fired power station at Kwinana in Western Australia that would be the first in Australia to capture and store its greenhouse gas emissions deep underground. The so-called clean coal station which could be completed within seven years would produce enough power to supply 500,000 houses.

May 12, 2009 – Rudd axes 13 ‘non-complementary’ climate programmes

The Strategic Review of Australian Government Climate Change Programs (Wilkins Review) had been established in February 2008 to:

  • ensure they are complementary to the ETS;
  • phase out less efficient abatement programs and initiatives that will compromise the abatement incentives arising from the carbon price signal provided by the ETS
  • rationalise duplicative and overlapping programs.

On this day in 2009 the Rudd government agreed to close 13 programs that were deemed not complementary to an ETS.

You can find out more here – https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/strategic-reviews/

Thank god the CPRS was carefully shepherded through, implemented without becoming an ATM for the fossil fuel industry and forced a reduction in carbon emissions commensurate with what the scientists were calling for.  Otherwise by now we’d all be stuffed, wouldn’t we…

May 10, 1978 – Women’s Weekly warns of warming…

On this day in 1978 the Australian “Women’s Weekly” published a piece  “Life in the Year 2000.”  Climate change got a mention…

1979 05 10 title

 

1978 05 10 part two

Also on this day-

1997 Lunn, S. 1997. Greens let off gas over greenhouse. The Australian, 10 May, p.45.

SCIENTISTS continue to make dire predictions about the effect of greenhouse gases despite clear evidence the planet will not be as badly affected as first thought, a leading atmospheric scientist says.

Former Nasa space scientist Dr Brian O’Brien said self-interested scientists and conservation groups propped up the “greenhouse industry” with exaggerated claims in order to preserve their respective patches.

 

2007 Swan versus Costello in Parliament on the 2003 emissions trading scheme

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F2007-05-10%2F0080%22

May 9, 2009 – CPRS negotiations revealed

So, the CPRS legislation was up and running, after the debacle of the White Paper in December 2008.  And the legislation even had some green support…. And journos like Lenore Taylor and Mike Steketee were trying to contextualise it all –

WHEN Penny Wong did the rounds of environmental and business groups last week, they suddenly found her more receptive to their arguments.

What were the key things they needed to be able to support the Government’s climate change package, she asked. The Climate Change Minister had a fair idea because she had heard their demands often enough, but this time she wasn’t fending them off. Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and Wong already had decided on a new strategy to try to get the Government out of the political bunker.

Steketee, M. 2009. Cool compromise. The Australian, 9 May, p.18.

(Compare and contrast with Lenore Taylor’s ‘The Minister of Cool’ thing)

Also on this day-

1989 Canberra Times We Will All be Flooded (TV Guide thing)

2016 – “At 9.40 am local time on Monday May 9th the turbines at Alinta’s 520 megawatt Northern Power Station at Port Augusta disconnected from the grid for the last time.” (source)

 

May 4, 2009 – the CPRS trainwreck rolls on…

So, Kevin Rudd came to power on a wave of optimism that – unlike John Howard – he would actually do something about climate change. But what, exactly?  Well, a carbon pricing scheme, since to paraphrase Nixon, we’re all technocratic wonks now.  And after sidelining Ross Garnaut, Rudd and his henchpeople embarked on an insanely complex and something-for-everyone-to-hate round of Green Papers and White Papers, Treasury modelling and so on.  By the end of 2008 the process had run into the sand.  Rebooted (by the persistence of Penny Wong, Climate Change minister) in early 2009, there were then secret negotiations with both the business types (take a bow, BCA) and an elite coalition of green groups (take a bow Southern Cross Climate Coalition).  And so, on this day 8 years ago, the legislation was released.

Here’s what Joan Staples had to say, in an excellent article.

In May 2009 the Rudd government revamped its proposed Climate Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation increasing its target for reduction of carbon emissions from 5% to 25%, but only if there was international agreement – a scenario that appeared unlikely. The ACF (represented by Don Henry who consulted only with ACF President Ian Lowe) together with the WWF, the Climate Institute, ACOSS and the ACTU (making up the Southern Cross Coalition) agreed privately to the change. Their support was used by the government in announcing the change to the public. The Australian reported, ‘The state conservation councils and large organisations such as Greenpeace and the Wilderness Society were excluded from the negotiations, as were the Greens, because Rudd knew they would not compromise on their demands for much higher emission cuts…The outcome is that Rudd has wedged the environment movement, and many conservationists are angry at Henry and Lowe over what they regard as a sell-out’ (Roberts 2009).

Staples, 2012: footnote on page 156

Roberts, G. 2009, ‘Why green leaders backed the carbon plan’, The Australian, 9 May,

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Also on this day –

1989 AMIC Minerals Outlook Seminar at ANU- Exploration Access and Political Power

Massey, M. 1990. Environmental debate tops agenda at coal conference. Australian Financial Review, 4 May, p. 10.

The recent shift in the environmental debate to promote global rather than regional goals is causing alarm among the world’s leading industrialists because of its potential to distort world trade and regional economies.

The impact on Australia is assuming major proportions, with an Access Economics study to be released next week revealing that one-third of almost$40 billion in proposed mining and manufacturing projects are under threat of environmental veto.

Garran, R. 1992. Opposition to exploit resource indecision. Australian Financial Review, 4 May, p 9.

The Federal Opposition will seek to exploit the Government’s embarrassment over its on-again off-again resource security legislation by prolonging debate in the Senate until after Tuesday’s meeting of the Labor Caucus.

2016 Speech by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill at Emissions Reduction Summit

 

May 2, 2009 – Liberals nervous about dissing Rudd’s CPRS

On this day 8 years ago Lenore Taylor reported that the Opposition Liberal party was running scared of nixxing Kevin ‘Great Moral Challenge’ Rudd’s proposed legislation for a ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.’  She wrote –

SENIOR Liberals are telling industry their internal polling shows the Coalition losing up to 10 seats in the House of Representatives and four in the Senate in a double dissolution election triggered by their rejecting Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme….

Taylor, L. 2009. Turnbull must bridge Coalition split on ETS. The Australian, 2 May, p. 18.

Nick Minchin apparently never bought into this (according, if I recall rightly, to Paul Kelly’s Triumph and Disaster).  Meanwhile, the authority of Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull would be fatally undermined in the Godwin Grech fiasco, and he would be toppled by Tony Abbott on 1st December 2009. So it goes…