Ross Gittins on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme conundrum
Ross Gittins explains why the draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation seems stuck: Labor doesn’t have the votes in the Senate without either the Greens (who won’t compromise), or the Liberals (who don’t know what they want) or the Nationals (“agrarian populism”).
Rudd’s initial proposal was purpose-built to be irresistible to the Coalition. It adopted the lowest possible go-it-alone emissions reduction target – 5 per cent – and a pathetically low 15 per cent reduction in the event of an international agreement in Copenhagen in December.
It accommodated the demands of business lobby groups to an extent Rudd’s own expert, Professor Ross Garnaut, found repugnant. … Rudd offered the Coalition a scheme little different to the one it took to the last election (both schemes having been designed by the same bureaucrats). What was Malcolm Turnbull’s reaction? Nothing doing. He rejected it, contriving to claim it was simultaneously too weak and too tough.
Clive Hamilton in Crikey believes that Labor could force it through the Senate if they had the balls. I don’t know. Maybe there is some brinksmanship here in the hope the Greens will at the last minute see high but realistic targets as a lesser evil, or that the power struggle in the Liberals will resolve.
The climate-skeptical position of the Nationals, though apparently firmly set, is bizarre to me, because their rural consistency may suffer more than anyone else from climate change. The few farmers I know personally are firmly convinced, because they have to adapt to changing temperatures and rainfall by destocking land or growing new crops.