Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Remember back when Australian voters thought they were electing a government which was committed to abolishing carbon taxes? The following are the words of Australia’s Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott vigorously opposed carbon pricing;
Environment Minister Greg Hunt says he will likely allow the purchase of international carbon credits despite backbench anger over the weekend’s Paris climate agreement.
“We have to set in place a mechanism to allow us [reach new targets], in particular to look at the question of international units and I expect we probably will take on board international units and that will give us the flexibility as we head into 2020 to re-pledge if needed,” Mr Hunt said.
The Australian Industry Group, which has been calling for Australia to allow the trade in permits, said the change was “critical”.
“Critically, the agreement affirms Australia’s right to purchase and include genuine emissions reductions in other countries towards Australia’s targets, a vital way of containing the cost of meeting our goals,” AiGroup chief executive Innes Willox said
Speculation that Australia would allow the use of international emissions reduction credits to meet local targets has been growing over the past year, and heightened when Foreign Minister Julie Bishop signed Australia up to a “Paris Ministerial Declaration on Carbon Markets” last week, which provided clearer rules around the trading of international carbon credits after 2020 when a Paris agreement would come into effect.
Read more: Australian Financial Review
So which is it Greg – were you opposed to carbon pricing, until your new boss Malcolm Turnbull told you to embrace carbon pricing? Or did your party lie to the Australian people about being opposed to carbon pricing, back when you were campaigning for our votes? Or is there an innocent explanation for this apparent backflip which I have overlooked?
Given the horrific Danish experience, in which Danes lost 2% of their GDP to carbon fraud, in my opinion, encouraging the purchase of international carbon credits is tantamount to an invitation to criminals to loot the Australian economy.