Australia's Back Door Stealth Carbon Market

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Opposition leaders have accused the Australian government of climate hypocrisy, criticising the opposition for wanting a carbon market while at the same time running their own carbon market, forcing companies to purchase carbon credits for “breaches” of emission pledges.

Offsets for emissions breaches prove Australia has a carbon market, Labor says

Industrial sites have spent millions on carbon credits under Direct Action’s ‘safeguard mechanism’

Sixteen Australian industrial sites have breached government-imposed greenhouse gas emissions limits and had to buy millions of dollars in carbon credits.

The breaches came despite big emitters being granted generous carbon limits, in many cases above their highest previous pollution levels.

They were revealed in the first batch of emissions data released under the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism”, part of the Direct Action climate policy introduced by carbon pricing opponent Tony Abbott.

Labor and industry body the Carbon Market Institute both said the use of Australian carbon credit units – mostly created through land-use based greenhouse gas reduction projects – was evidence the country had a carbon market despite the government claiming otherwise.

The opposition climate spokesman, Mark Butler, said businesses were now trading credits at prices the Coalition had claimed would wreck the economy under Labor. He said it showed the hypocrisy and ineffectiveness of the government’s approach to climate change.

“The Turnbull government should stop trying to mislead the Australian people and their own backbench,” he said. “[It should] admit that carbon pricing and trading is not only needed to take effective action on climate change, but their ineffective climate change policy also includes carbon trading.”

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The Aussie carbon market is a tax on prosperity and productivity. It punishes companies for doing better than their competitors, for emitting more CO2 through industrial activity than they previously said they would. It removes money from productive people and hands it to useless corporatists in return for performing “carbon credit” activities which yield no benefit whatsoever to end consumers paying for the goods and services which have been carbon taxed.

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March 18, 2018 7:29 pm

As all of the carbon fees paid for whatever reason end up in the costs to the consumer, this is nothing but a hidden tax on the citizens.

Alan Tomalty
March 18, 2018 7:33 pm

Australia is committing economic suicide with here in Canada soon to follow

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 18, 2018 10:02 pm

In Ontario It became mandatory on January 1 2018 But businesses were already trading a year before to get better prices cause the market price of carbon now has gone up. They say this will cost every Ontarion [4.3]3.3 cents per litre We already were smacked 4.3 cents per litre a year ago in extra taxes to pay for windmills and solar panels So even before the extra cost of gasoline to consumers in Ontario will kick in this year, gasoline taxes are already 43% based on a dollar per litre.cost. To further compound this we will never know how much extra that this will cost us as it is a hidden “tax” borne by the seller who of course will pass it on to us. So based on the estimate of an additional 4.3 centrs per litre ,gasoline taxes (hidden or otherwise) will approach 50% in Ontario I will vote Conservative in the June election. The Conservative candidate says no carbon tax but does he mean no cap n trade either?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 18, 2018 10:06 pm

Cross out the 1st 3.3 and replace with another 4.3. Funny how every increase (hidden or not) amounts to 4.3
at least in the land of OZ called Ontario. They are going to force us to abandon our gasoline cars My car has 2 catlytic converters so the pollution is very low but that isnt good enuf for the greenies. They want me out of my car.

Patrick MJD
March 18, 2018 7:51 pm
March 18, 2018 8:11 pm

Australia the crash test dummy for wind and sun energy dependence continues to exceed expectations for stupid.

March 18, 2018 8:22 pm

Eric, I’m an Aussie myself but this idiom eludes me:

Opposition leaders have accused the Australian government of climate hypocrisy

Given that “climate honesty” is a periphrasis for “lying,” I assume an accusation of climate hypocrisy is a fairly high compliment…?

March 18, 2018 8:56 pm

“… forcing companies to purchase carbon credits for “breaches” of emission pledges.”
Sometimes — (okay, often) — I think the unifying symbol of the western world should be a guy bending over and grabbing his ankles.
Not to condone violence, but at some level I admire men in other parts of the world. Piss them off, and, wearing flip-flops, sweat pants, and an undersized Hello Kitty t-shirt, they’ll weld a .50 BMG to the bed of a Toyota pickup truck and take their grievances to the source.
Here the Stockholm response to abject abuse is, “I’ll have another organic, fair-trade soy frappuccino with pumpkin spice, please. And make that a grande. My moobs need a little perking up.”

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Max Photon
March 18, 2018 10:11 pm

Well in Ontario we will elect a new government in June. Hope they will get us out of this mess and stand up to Trudeau who is forcing carbon taxes on all Canadians. When will Australia wake up to this monstrosity?

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 18, 2018 10:31 pm

Don’t bet on it. Canada and California have a lot in common, except California has a larger population. They still vote liberal, and for additional carbon taxes. There is little concern now for reliable electricity, however, as Davis learned, rolling blackouts/brownouts can cost you your job – before the term is over.
But I had so little faith in my fellow Californians that I just left the state (10 months ago).

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 19, 2018 7:12 am

I’m not so sure the Ontario Conservatives will do the right thing either. They seem to be more concerned about repealing the latest changes to school sex education curricula. But they have to be better than those economy destroying Liberals!

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 19, 2018 7:57 am

Kaliforniakook, I abandoned ship 6 years ago. Best decision ever.

dodgy geezer
March 18, 2018 10:35 pm

…It punishes companies for doing better than their competitors…
Ah. Socialism…

Phillip Bratby
March 18, 2018 11:49 pm

“above their highest previous pollution levels.” Somebody please tell the idiots that CO2 is a necessity of life and is not a pollutant.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
March 19, 2018 1:03 am

Dose makes a poison, but a pollutant is made by a political decision.

Cold in Wisconsin
March 19, 2018 5:47 am

I’m sorry to inject another divisive topic, but what would liberals think if they were forced to pay a tax based on a religious belief, say a “Rapture” tax? That is how I equate the carbon tax scheme.

March 19, 2018 7:02 am

Cheech voice in a dark alley: “Hey, man, I’m lookin’ for carbon. You got any carbon, man?”

Reply to  beng135
March 19, 2018 7:40 am

Chong voice – “naah man. My dog ate my stash”.

March 19, 2018 7:15 am

“The Aussie carbon market is a tax on prosperity and productivity.”
This is just socialism in action.
Punishing the productive in order to buy votes from the non-productive.

Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2018 1:48 pm

It’s that “One man, one vote” thing again.
Are there alternatives?
Might, say, giving extra votes to those “who have done something for the community” be a start.
Motherhood; business owning; home owning ( and paying property taxes); gallantry awards; World and/or Olympic medals/ records?; extra votes for increasing age ( if all taxes paid, and no spells of imprisonment)?
Many other possible ideas for extra votes, of course – those are a handful.
And perhaps only for the Second Chamber – in the UK the House of Lords; if it becomes elected, a name change is needed, I think.
Enough ideas for one evening.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Auto
March 26, 2018 9:40 am

An old book, Nevil Shute’s “In The Wet”, has a concept of a future Australia with multiple votes awarded beyond the basic single vote. The votes were awards for productive activities (including being a mother who raised her children to the age of 16 without them getting into trouble). And one of the key points in the story was (I think) the “Seventh Vote”, which was the direct gift of the Crown. This was set in a future world where the UK was taken over by a Communist government, and might well be prophetic on that score!

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