Tag Archives: Greenhouse 21C

March 29, 1995 – Greenhouse 21C launched, in aftermath of massive defeat for sanity

On this day in 1995, the Federal Environment Minister of Paul Keating’s government basically ran up the white flag.  The environment movement had tried to get a carbon levy/tax onto the statute box. They were defeated, comprehensively, by a very well-organised and strategically astute bunch of (fossil-fuel) industry lobbyists, who proposed a voluntary scheme instead. This became the ‘Greenhouse Challenge’, which is what John Faulkner, just before he hopped on a plane to the first meeting of the UNFCCC, in Berlin, held a press conference about.

I am pleased to announce the Federal Government’s additional greenhouse response package: Greenhouse 21C.

Greenhouse 21C delivers a whole of Government approach to climate change. My colleagues Brian Howe and Peter Cook have joined me today because there are some important measures in this response package which directly relate to their portfolio responsibilities. They will detail these measures shortly.

One of the critical elements of Greenhouse 21C is the active involvement by all stakeholders to successfully tackle the greenhouse challenge. Governments alone cannot deliver on climate change.

The active partnership between Government and industry is a significant feature of 21C. We expect that voluntary agreements will achieve in the order of 15 million tonnes of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2000 – and more in the long term.

Greenpeace,licking its wounds from the November 1994 Redbank decision,  knew what was coming.;

Greenpeace’s climate campaigner, Mr Keith Tarlo, said the biggest single item was the $25 million program to promote clean coal technology in India.

“This is a scandal. (It) is a transparent attempt to promote the Australian coal industry and can only lock India into escalating greenhouse emissions,” he said.

Boreham, G. 1995. Industry Says Yes, Greens Say No To Emissions Policy. The Age, 30 March, p.3.

and

Greenpeace said the biggest item in the package was $25 million to promote “clean coal” technology overseas. This was really meant to boost Australian coal exports and the “clean” meant only low sulphur content, it said.

Shehan, C. and McCathie, A. 1995. Bid To Cut Gas Levels – But It’s Voluntary. Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March, p.3.

 Also on this day- 

2007- At roughly the same time personal carbon allowances/trading were gaiing tradction in the UK, former NSW Premier Bob Carr predicted carbon trading among individuals

Former New South Wales premier Bob Carr, who chairs the Climate Institute Advisory Council, says carbon trading may one day extend to individuals, not just businesses and governments.

Mr Carr told a Property Council seminar in Sydney this morning that a national carbon trading scheme in Australia is inevitable.

He says everyone will one day have a carbon entitlement.

“Every citizen a carbon credit, but if you use up yours by reliance on an inefficient, old-fashioned vehicle, for example, or a large quantity of household air-conditioning, you’ve got to buy your right to any further carbon,” he said.

 

And on the same day the Australian Government, led by John Howard, launched a Global Initiative on Forests and. Climate.  Which of course produced no actual benefits. So it goes.

Jan 2, 1995 – Carbon tax on the cards, says BCA boss…

On this day, 21 years ago, the Australian Financial Review did an interview with the then executive director of the Business Council of Australia, Paul Barratt.  A month previously a last-minute proposal for a carbon tax had been brought to Cabinet by the Environment Minister, Senator John Faulkner. Business was seriously under-whelmed, having believed that their ‘co-operative action’ stance had seen of the threat.  The Fin reported that Barratt believed, thanks to the environment movement’s loss on wood-chipping, that

‘The search for quick revenue raisers and a political sop to heal the breach with environmental groups in the run-up to this year’s Federal election had put a carbon tax squarely back on the Government’s pre-Budget agenda.’

Wallace, C. 1995. Environment taxes tipped to placate enraged greens. The Australian Financial Review, 3 January, p.3.

As it turned out, the tax proposal was defeated (announcement made 13 February 1995) and Australia instead plumped for ‘voluntary action’ in the shape of Greenhouse 21C.  Of which more another day…

Also on this day

2016  The Australian reported that a “‘new deal’ blueprint for sweeping reform of Australia’s environment laws that puts climate change at the centre of ­future economic decision-­making is being prepared by a coalition of 40 leading conser­vation groups.”

Oh dear.  That didn’t go so well perhaps…