“Necessary emission cuts“? Pffthrrrbt! Necessary for whom and why?
Australia will introduce a carbon tax on Sunday at A$23 per tonne of carbon. In 2015, an emissions trading scheme (ETS) will replace the tax.
The aim is to cut Australian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020, and by a further 80% by 2050. Australia’s CO₂ emissions are among the world’s highest on a per capita basis.
The tax and later, the ETS, are meant to cut emissions by improving energy efficiency and encouraging the shift to non-carbon energy sources. Overall costs of reducing carbon emissions would be minimised by allowing trade in permits.
But, looking ahead, can the ETS and reliance on the market generally, deliver the huge reductions needed? I don’t believe they can. Excessive reliance on the market helped bring about our current predicament.