Articles on Carbon pricing

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Climate costs can seem scary, but it’s all in how you look at them. Bills image from www.shutterstock.com

How to make sense of big, scary climate costs

Is ambitious action on climate change a recipe for a significant hit to the economy and our living standards?
Christine Milne with her successor Richard Di Natale after stepping down as the Greens’ federal leader. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Milne got results from minority pacts with both sides of politics

Christine Milne has been seen as an ideological politician. But her record of working with minority governments of both stripes showed she could deliver on her agenda from outside the mainstream.
A carbon tax could help lighten the flow out of these stacks. Shutterstock

A carbon tax: the green opportunity in cheaper oil

For most of the world’s large economies, the sharp decline in oil and energy prices is great news. Cheaper energy will help boost economic growth and is especially welcome for lower- and middle-income…
Greg Hunt (left) says he doesn’t want an emissions trading scheme; Clive Palmer says he does. But Hunt’s Direct Action plan might ultimately take us there anyway. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Direct Action could deliver a useful outcome: carbon trading

There’s little point in getting too excited just yet about the details of Direct Action and its merits (or otherwise) as compared with emissions trading. Why? Because all of the current debate about Australia’s…
Economic reforms such as a national carbon price could usher in dramatic changes on China’s energy landscape. Vmenkov/Wikimedia Commons

China heads for price on carbon; energy market overhaul is next

In the lead-up to the UN leaders’ summit on climate change, China is shifting up a gear in its drive towards national emissions trading. Yet for carbon pricing to be effective, market reform in China’s…
The prime minister’s business adviser Maurice Newman continues to distract business leaders on the issue of climate change. Julian Smith/AAP

It’s personal: why leaders don’t turn climate knowledge into action

There is an abundance of profitable business opportunity to be found in addressing sustainability issues. These stand out against the difficulties we face implementing effective change. Globally, the World…
Clive Palmer, with the unlikely backing of Al Gore, may have found a way to salvage something from Australia’s looming climate policy vacuum. AAPImage/Alan Porritt

Stopgap carbon policies: far from perfect, but better than nothing

Climate policy is back on the agenda in Canberra this week, with the focus on the government’s centrepiece Direct Action plan. The Coalition will have to negotiate with the Palmer United Party, which will…
Forestry is credited under New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme. World Resources Institute/Flickr

Carbon pricing is still the best way to cut emissions, if we get it right

The Coalition government has recently axed Australia’s carbon “tax”, leaving us with no carbon price. Alternatives include the government’s “Direct Action” plan, or Clive Palmer’s proposed emissions trading…
After more than a week of delays, the Senate has scrapped the carbon tax. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Carbon tax repealed: experts respond

The government has succeeded in getting legislation passed to repeal the carbon tax, despite some last-minute doubts cast…
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne and Environment Minister Greg Hunt when the carbon tax repeal passed through the lower house on Monday. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Carbon tax repeal raises long-term risks for Australian business

The bill to repeal Australia’s “carbon tax” is poised to pass the Senate, potentially leaving Australia without a working price on carbon. In the short term, the repeal may provide some relief for businesses…
In the media spotlight: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer outside the Senate chamber at Parliament House this week. Lukas Coch/AAP

Palmer’s populist carbon tax ploy won’t cut power bills

If you heard Clive Palmer and his Palmer United senators say today that they will only scrap the carbon tax with stronger rules to protect consumers, you might have thought they sounded quite fair and…
The new budget has served up a big hit to Australia’s environment. Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs

Budgets are often framed as give and take. But in the case of the environment, the government is taking large amounts of money in cuts, while giving little back beyond funding the Direct Action climate…
Greg Hunt says he is confident the Emissions Reduction Fund will meet its target of cutting carbon pollution by 5%. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Direct Action policy still leaves loopholes open for big polluters

The long-awaited White Paper on the A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund answers some questions about how the Abbott government’s Direct Action climate plan will work. But it looks like the policy will…
Better appliances and energy-efficiency rules saved Australians more than A$3 billion on electricity last year alone. Shutterstock

Energy-smart appliances cut Australian power bills by billions

The latest review of Australia’s energy-saving appliance scheme has delivered a rare trifecta: a good news story for the economy, the community and the environment. According to my estimates from data…
Politically, the carbon tax issue has been great for Tony Abbott, allowing him to position himself as a friend to business. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate policy: could it be the boxing Prime Minister’s glass jaw?

Nine years ago, I spent long days inside Downing Street working with the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair on how to position his government on the global climate problem. Blair was keen to work out…
It is still not clear how emissions reductions will be measured. Marcus Wong/Wikimedia Commons

Three major loopholes in the Direct Action climate plan

You could be forgiven for missing it, but on the Friday afternoon before Christmas, federal environment minister Greg Hunt released the draft details of the Emissions Reduction Fund – the centrepiece of…

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