The Australian Parliament has commenced debating the new carbon tax law (dubbed Australia's Clean Energy Future - nice title !).
The debate isn't highlighting anything new - the opposition thinks the world will end when it is introduced, the government and greens think it an essential step forward (which is true, though it doesn't go far enough) and the media is by and large producing almost no useful analysis of the various claims being made.
Still - it should go through regardless - the only interesting question is will Malcolm Turnbull tell Abbott to get stuffed and cross the floor to vote with the government. Fingers crossed.
The Climate Spectator has an article on a PwC report into low carbon growth - Down to business on carbon.
The sudden evaporation of a goodly portion of the federal opposition's sitting members on Tuesday as the Prime Minister began introducing the bills of her government's Clean Energy Future package might betray a lack of consensus on carbon pricing among Australia's politicians, but it seems big business is well and truly present on the issue. A new major global report has found that the world’s largest listed companies are increasingly embracing climate change policies, regardless of – and even in spite of – broad-ranging uncertainty in politics. The 10th annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 report, put together in conjunction with global accountancy firm PwC, has examined the carbon reduction activities of the world’s largest listed companies through an in-depth analysis of 396 of the world’s largest companies, and has found that 68 per cent have climate change at the heart of business strategies, up from 48 per cent in 2010.
The report, Accelerating Low Carbon Growth, which is due to be released Wednesday, also shows a significant rise in the number of companies reporting reduced greenhouse gas emissions as a result of various emissions reduction activities (45 per cent, up from 19 per cent in 2010). A correlation was also established between higher stock market performance over time, and representation on CDP’s Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) and the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). Companies with a strategic focus on climate change provided investors with approximately double the average total return of the Global 500 from January 2005 to May 2011.
CDP's Director for Australia and New Zealand, James Day, said the results highlighted that, despite all the debate in Canberra, emission reductions are being made in large companies throughout the world.
And the SMH notes the carbon tax plan will allow polluters to buy permits from abroad (and that the Abbott alternative plan is hopelessly impractical) - Abbott plan 'would double carbon cost.
TONY ABBOTT has described the carbon tax as ''the longest political suicide note in Australian history'' and a ''completely pointless exercise'' because it would allow Australian companies to buy some greenhouse gas emission reductions overseas.
But the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network - which represents mining and manufacturing industries - said it agreed with the federal Treasury that Mr Abbott's plan of achieving 5 per cent emission reductions domestically would at least double the cost, whether done with a carbon price or through his proposed ''direct action''. ...
But Michael Hitchens, the chief executive of the industry network, said if Australia wanted the cheapest way to cut emissions, ''we should have full flexibility to purchase international units''. ''We understand from Treasury modelling that the cost of abatement might double if we try to achieve the full abatement domestically. We think those figures are about right,'' he said.
Treasury modelling found that domestic-only reductions would cost an average of $69 a tonne between now and 2020, compared with $29 a tonne under the government plan, which allows some overseas permits. The Coalition has budgeted $15 a tonne in its ''direct action'' plan and says this is capped.
Rob Oakeshott, who with fellow crossbenchers Andrew Wilkie and Tony Windsor will ensure the bills pass the lower house, told Parliament the Coalition's plan did not make sense because it assumed ''the ongoing ability to buy a product [greenhouse abatement] at one third of its price''. …
The former Coalition leader Malcolm Turnbull said he had not yet decided whether to speak on the bills, which will be voted on in the lower house on October 12. He said the Gillard government scheme had ''a lot in common'' with the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme, which he had agreed to pass.