Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who's the author of the government's climate change policy?

The government's Climate Change "Minister" will outline her decision today.

Brendan Nelson wrote it.

Chris Hammer in today's Age:

"THE Rudd Government will shield motorists from petrol price rises for at least the first three years of Australia's emissions trading scheme.

Defying its expert adviser on climate change, Ross Garnaut, the Government today will announce its intention to include petrol in the emissions trading scheme, but to offset resulting price increases with corresponding cuts in fuel excise.

For every cent petrol rises due to emissions trading, a cent will be knocked off excise - for a minimum of three years after the scheme is launched. After that, the policy will be reviewed.

The decision to offset petrol price rises mirrors the policy announced by the Coalition last month, and is a response in part to extreme sensitivity in the electorate on rising petrol prices.

Neutralising the price effect on petrol runs contrary to the advice of Professor Garnaut, who recommended that petrol be included in the scheme, with compensation directed to low-income earners. Earlier this month, while launching his draft report, he also explicitly advised against using excise reductions to shield motorists. "If you are simultaneously reducing excise then you would send some funny sort of signal because what this is all about is encouraging people to economise on activities that are intensive in emissions," Professor Garnaut said."

Penny Wong's speech to the National Press Club will be televised on the ABC from 12.30pm.

The Green Paper will be here from 1.00pm.

Good coverage here from 1.00pm.