Monday, October 31, 2011
Canadian Foreign Minister shoots down case for Carbon tax
One of the fundamental tenets of the Labor government's argument for a carbon tax is that it will be part of a global market allowing carbon indulgences to be traded. Unfortunately for Gillard and her crew of carbonistas the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird from a party which stood for election opposing such an impost on his country , has stated that there will be no carbon tax in Canada or the US in the foreseeable future. This means that all the major emitters such as the US, China, India and Japan will not be swapping carbon paper credits with the Aussies leaving us up sh*t creek without a paddle if we continue with a carbon tax.
While avoiding any criticism of the Gillard government, Mr Baird told The Australian he did not believe any effective carbon-trading system would come into effect.
The ability to trade greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon credits, is central to the Australian government's carbon tax.
Under Labor's scheme, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions would continue to rise but the nation would achieve its carbon reduction targets by purchasing credits on an international scheme.
Mr Baird said he did not believe Canada would introduce a carbon tax or an ETS.
"The people of Canada spoke unequivocally about that at the last election," he said.
Mr Baird's conservative government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, won an absolute majority in the Canadian parliament for the first time by advocating a policy of no-carbon tax and no ETS.
"I think there's only one member of parliament who advocates it, and that's the lone Greens member," Mr Baird said.
He also does not believe the US will introduce either a carbon tax or an ETS: "I think even President (Barack) Obama has conceded that when he had massive majorities in the house and the Senate, he couldn't get it passed.
"The chances of anything comprehensive coming out of the congress is not likely."
Mr Baird was at pains not to comment on or criticise the Gillard government in any way.
However, his comments are devastating for the Gillard government's proposed scheme, because if the US and Canada do not go down a market road for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it is impossible that anything remotely resembling a global market could emerge.
Even more devastating is Mr Baird's judgment that carbon-trading schemes are inherently unreal and non-productive.