So, Australian state governments, pushed by NSW Premier Bob Carr, had been banging on about emissions trading since 2004, with a “National Emissions Trading Taskforce” (NETT). It was busy producing reports when in late 2006 John Howard, under immense pressure on climate and with a Federal election a year away, performed one of his famous U-turns. The Shergold Report was due to be released in late May, and the Australian state governments, plus one opposition leader called K. Rudd, didn’t want Howard to steal their thunder. So…
“On 30 April 2007, the leader of the federal opposition Australian Labor Party, Kevin Rudd, (along with the state and territory governments) engaged world renowned economist Professor Ross Garnaut to conduct a wide ranging review into the effects of climate change on Australia and its economy (Garnaut 2008).”
(Rice and Martin, 2016:48)
Fed: Opposition commissions Australia’s own climate report 30 April 2007 Australian Associated Press General News
See also this from AAP-
CLIMATE By Jessica Marszalek
BRISBANE, April 30 AAP – The federal opposition has commissioned an economics professor to head a Stern-type review into the impact of climate change on Australia’s future. Labor leader Kevin Rudd announced the Garnaut Climate Change Review in Brisbane today, saying it would outline the threat to the country’s economic prosperity and investigate mitigation strategies. It will be headed by Australian National University economics Professor Ross Garnaut, who will hand down interim findings mid next year, and a completed report by October 2008.
The sidelining of Garnaut began early (See February 2008) and in the end the legislation put forward in 2009 was barely recognisable. But there you have it. Garnaut was back in the hotseat in 2010-11, as a member of Gillard’s MPCCC. But that’s another story…
Also on this day
30 April 2013: Peter Costello calls on Coalition to scrap direct action spending on 7.30 report.
On this day ten years ago, the state governments of Australia basically told John Howard ‘ lead on climate change or we will’ (insofar as an emissions trading scheme is leadership….).
Since 2001 Bob Carr (at the time premier of New South Wales) had been trying to get the Federal Government to introduce an emissions trading scheme. From 2004 a state-governments supported ‘National Emissions Trading Taskforce’ had been at work. Prime Minister Howard had remained opposed until suddenly overwhelmed by political pressure, and in November 2006 he had back-flipped and started a Federal process. (‘the Shergold report).
But the NETT process rumbled on, and at the second meeting of Council for the Australian Federation (all the state governments meeting without the Federales) is was agreed to press Howard to introduce an emissions trading scheme based on Shergold and to warn him that if the Commonwealth didn’t bring in a scheme, the states would, by the end of 2010.
There were caveats. Peter Beattie, then the Premier of Queensland said
“All I’ve ever been concerned about is to make certain that we don’t abandon a commonsense approach about developing clean coal technology, because of Queensland’s coal reserves and out of that we will get zero emissions.
“So we’ve made it clear that we are prepared to be part of a national response to deal with climate change, but we want to see a very clear focus on developing clean coal technology which would give us a world response to greenhouse gas emissions, not just an Australian response.”
(Taylor, J. 2007. Premiers meeting over carbon trading scheme Premiers to sign climate declaration. ABC, 9 February.
It was at this meeting that it was agreed to they would ask Ross Garnaut to go to work on a further study of climate change impacts on the Australian economy and how a trading scheme would ‘fit’ internationally. (Garnaut started work in April, having been asked by then Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and then opposition leader Kevin Rudd.
Also on this day-
2007 Greens leader Bob Brown calls coal the energy industry’s heroin habit