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.”
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.