The government’s ETS legislation came out yesterday, and I prepared a short response for the Australian Science Media Centre Here is is.
The draft legislation sticks fairly closely to the White Paper, which has proved to be a compromise that satisfies no one. The government proposed a watered-down scheme in the hope of attracting public support from industry, and the Parliamentary votes of the Coalition. This approach appears to have failed, leaving the options of allowing the bill to fail, or seeking the support of Greens and Independents.
By far the worst feature of the proposed ETS is the 15 per cent reductions target presented as the maximum we will offer, even if other countries agree to an effective global program to reduce emissions. If this target were raised to 25 per cent, the government could probably secure the necessary support to pass the Bill. Those who have argued that no such global agreement will emerge have no good reason to oppose such a change.