Tag Archives: COAG

June 7, 2001 Bob Carr pushes carbon trading

Bob Carr, premier of New South Wales since 1995, had been keen to get something done on climate change (and has continued to be keen).  This below is from 2002 Greenhouse Gas Update by Stewart Smith]

In June this year [2001]  the Premier took to the Council of Australian Governments meeting a proposal for compulsory national greenhouse targets to apply to the electricity retailer sector. The Premier stated:

The proposal would work as follows. We would set a per capita greenhouse emission reduction target of 5 per cent for electricity retailers on 1989-90 levels. This would be done through compulsory benchmarks and it would be phased in by 2005-2006, to allow electricity retailers time to adjust. Penalties would be imposed on electricity retailers who fail to meet annual targets. Retailers would avoid payment of penalties by supporting the development of low-cost greenhouse abatement projects such as plantation-based carbon credits, faster up-take of natural gas fired power generation and renewable energy. A market to trade emission reduction certificates would be created in Sydney. This market would provide the platform for trading other environmental service products like carbon sequestration credits, salinity credits, and eventually biodiversity credits…it is important that this be advanced on a uniform national basis.51

NSW Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard 7 June 2001, p 14,683.

52 Council of Australian Governments, Communique, 8 June 2001. See the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website, URL: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/docs\coag080601.cfm

 

Also on this day –

McLachlan, C. 1989. Hot chances for coping with greenhouse effect. Australian Financial Review, 7 June.

For all the worry that the greenhouse effect is causing around the world there is, perhaps, a bright side. The greenhouse effect has opened up a number of potentially profitable opportunities for industry. It has created a number of niche markets for environmentally safe products or new strands of vegetable. The South Australian Government has already taken steps to help industry identify these new niche markets. It has established a council to examine the implications of the greenhouse effect and the depletion of the ozone layer on the future direction of industry, agriculture and the economy of the State.

Anon. 1990. Trans tasman think tank backed by big business. New Zealand Herald, 8 June p.5.

A privately funded economic think tank and joint venture between Australia and New Zealand called the Tasman Institute was launched in Melbourne yesterday.

2007–  “When the Bill was finally reconsidered in July 2007, the SA Government proposed an alternative interim target of a return to 190 levels by 2020, the same target as adopted in the Californian legislation. However, in the meantime, the Liberal Opposition had changed its position and declined to continue to support the 20 per cent reduction target it had previously proposed. It was joined by the other minority parties in the Legislative Council in a vote against the government’s proposed alternative target, with the result that the Bill was ultimately passed without any interim target having been included. The government has indicated that it will consider the option of introducing its interim target by regulations under the Act at a future point.

The end result of this protracted exercise is highly unsatisfactory in that no interim target was able to be agreed. The substantial and sudden change of stance by the [State] Liberal Opposition was attributed by some sources from the Howard Government to come into line with the policy position of opposing any interim target.”

(Fowler, 2007: 115)

Henderson, N. 2007. Libs told to “toe PM’s line.” Adelaide Advertiser, 7 June.

April 13 2011 – the “pro-carbon price” squeak

The 2011 assault on the proposal for a price on carbon was astonishing in its brutality, given that the Liberal Party had gone to the 2007 election with a similar-enough set of proposals. One under-remarked aspect of that assault was the almost complete silence of pro-price business groups, which (wisely from their perspective) decided that discretion was the better part of valour…

As Phillip Chubb writes in his excellent “Power Failure”-

“On 13 April 2011 the company [GE] was joined by a number of others, including AGL, Linfox, Fujitsu, BP and IKEA, in issuing a statement backing the government.”
(Chubb, 2014:173)

And here is a screengrab of the press release

2011 04 13 support climate price

Also on this day-

“By April 2007 there was formal agreement by COAG to a national mandated rollout of electricity smart meters to begin by the end of 2008, in locations where an economic case could be made, as summarised in the 13th April 2007 COAG Meeting Communique:
‘‘COAG. . . endorsed a staged approach for the national mandated roll out of electricity smart meters to areas where benefits outweigh costs, as indicated by the results of the cost-benefit analysis which will be completed by the end of 2007.” [COAG (2007): 1]
(Lovell, 2017:103)
Lovell, H. 2017. Mobile policies and policy streams: The case of smart metering policy in Australia. Geoforum, 81, pp.100-108.

2012 Bob Brown announces resignation as leader of the Greens.  I will write more of Brown another time.   A man with immense courage, in my opinion.

Feb 10, 2011 – Climate Commission is launched

The Gillard government knew that selling climate action was going to be tricky, after the cynicism-building wreck that was Rudd’s CPRS, and the rise of organised and well-funded denialism. It was in this context that it set up the Climate Commission (as distinct from the Climate Change Authority, which came later as part of the CEF package.). The Climate Commission did public information events and released lots of reports. And Tony Abbott, when he came to power, made it his first action to abolish it. A crowd-funding campaign worked wonders, and the Commission lives on. But that’s a story for another day –

 

Also on this day-
According to  it Ellis and Gill, it was on this day in 1995 that then Environment Minister Senator John Faulkner decided that a carbon tax/levy/whatever you want to call it was not worth taking to Cabinet after all, because it would get squished by the Bob Collins of this world –

“THE Minister for the Environment, Senator Faulkner, has abandoned proposals for the introduction of a carbon tax ….  His decision was made on Friday [10th February] after two days of talks with environmental and business groups.”

Ellis, S. and Gill, P. 1995. Faulkner calls off plans to impose carbon tax. The Australian Financial Review, 14 February, p.3.

In 2006, before climate change had become the public topic it would later in the year be, the Council of Australian Governments held a meeting on this day.   Australian Conservation Foundation tried to chivvy them along, with this press release.

COAG meeting a chance for real progress on climate change
Date: 9-Feb-2006
The Australian Conservation Foundation has urged Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders to use tomorrow’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra to craft a consistent, national approach to climate change.
“A global problem requires a global solution,” said ACF Executive Director Don Henry. “It’s vital we get Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders pulling in the same direction on this.

“It’s good to see COAG talking about climate change. They can make some real progress on measures that will make a difference.
http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/13467/20120118-0823/www.acfonline.org.au/articles/newse312.html?news_id=712

(A COAG Working group had been set up previous late May/early June, according to this – “ACF calls for national deep cuts target on greenhouse” (11-Jun-2005)