The Government of Australia has just announced a domestic carbon tax regime is being phased in from next July – albeit with a raft of compensations and transition to an ETS planned. I do think something should be done that is matched to the global economy.
We see newscasts with pictures of dozens of massive coal-transporting ships moored off-shore waiting for their turn to fill up with coal to take overseas. Mega-ships taking liquified gas away also feature in the news.
Now this leads me to wonder:
- How many ships full of coal and gas with what tonnage are exported from Australia per day on average?
- Will they tax these ships of carbon-based fuels at all as a part of this measure?
- Were they taxed equivalently, how many billions would that raise?
I suspect not. I feel it is as if we have a burst water main in the street outside our house & we are just fixing our dripping taps. I understand we burn less than two percent of the fossil fuel we produce – a drop in the bucket. That exported fuel is going to be consumed elsewhere to increase atmospheric carbon. The planet will only notice an effect if action is taken globally and it is in our hands to influence that 98% by slowly phasing in equivalent taxation on exported pollution in concert with domestic action. The issue is not purely commercial however. Other nations might consider their essential economic interests are compromised if we turn down the tap, however it’s done – even military pressure could be exerted. So, vigorous international negotiation needs to accompany whatever we do!
Massive compensation hand-outs to commercial polluters have been announced. These will put a massive break on changing their behaviour. So I have some other questions:
- When will such commercial compensations be phased out?
- When will family compensations be phased out?
- When will they tax our household firewood, BBQ charcoal, LPG etc ?
- When will they include vehicle fuels in Australia?
Bear in mind that huge distances distances dominate transport in our economy but I am not so naive as to believe that it is not planned at some point in time.
- Will they put new tax $’s into home solar rebates from the tax income?
Currently other electricity bill payers fund rebates!
- Will they allow small domestic wind generators to feed power into the grid?
Currently that is forbidden unless gust power is expensively discarded!