Carbon dioxide is invisible. Emissions can’t be monitored. Trading of permissions to emit something invisible that can’t be monitored can only result in fraud and failure — witness the European carbon market. No matter how you feel about climate science, emissions trading is pointless.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Tony Abbott wanted the election to be a ”referendum” on the carbon tax. He has now lost his referendum issue.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that Labor would abolish the carbon tax and move to an emissions trading scheme a year earlier than planned.
Of course, an emissions trading scheme is still an impost on carbon output. Abbott is right to say that it is still a form of carbon tax, even though it would be a much smaller one by about 75 per cent.
The carbon tax was synonymous with Julia Gillard. It embodied her broken promise, her perceived untrustworthiness, her pact with the Greens, her minority government. By promising to remove the tax, Rudd robs Abbott of one of the most powerful political tools in his toolbox. Second, the change allows Rudd to reposition Labor at the responsible centre of Australian politics. And it’s the Coalition and the Greens who have now allowed him to do so effortlessly.
In response to the Rudd announcement, Greens leader Christine Milne railed against him as environmentally irresponsible. For the 93 per cent of voters who do not identify as Greens, this is a good sign that Rudd’s policy is economically responsible.
And Abbott’s reaction was to deride the Rudd plan for an emissions trading scheme as a ”so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one”. This sounded like a leader who was sceptical about carbon as the agent that is reshaping the global climate. It was a mistake.