Henry Ergas writes in the Australian:
With those “green” schemes remaining in place alongside the carbon tax, it is unsurprising that our electricity costs to industrial users are up to double those in comparable energy-abundant economies. Nor is it surprising that electricity bills account for more than 60 per cent of the cost increases that have hit manufacturing since 2008. And the economic harm that causes is borne for no environmental gain, as any reductions in Australia’s emissions are swamped by growing emissions overseas.
Retaining these policies is therefore indefensible. Of course, that doesn’t imply the risks of climate change should be ignored. But it is increasingly unrealistic to think those risks will be avoided through abatement.
As the Climate Commission’s just-released report on “The Critical Decade” recognises, “if (global) emissions rise through the rest of this decade”, which is surely certain, achieving required abatement will be “a virtually impossible task”.
That means we need the capability to adapt should dangerous climate change occur. But the hodgepodge of distorting taxes, shameful handouts, Gosplan-inspired central planning and Kafkaesque enforcement that is our climate policy does nothing to achieve that goal.