I’ve had a quick look at the report of the PM’s Task Group on Emissions Trading. It gives a pretty good summary of the main issues, constrained by the political requirement that it should not even look at the obvious implication of an argument for participation in an international emissions trading scheme, namely that we should ratify Kyoto forthwith. The choice of 2012 (when Kyoto expires) as the target date neatly avoids the issue, as well as meeting the political imperative of not endorsing what Labor has proposed.
The main implication of the Report is that we should have got started on all this ten years ago (or at least, back in 2003 when Howard killed the idea), and that we’ll now have a more costly adjustment path than if we had acted sooner.
Something of a surprise is that the McKibbin-Wilcoxen hybrid idea didn’t get more than a couple of brief mentions. Some of the leaks I saw suggested that the Task Group might go this way, as did Howard’s rhetoric about an “Australian, practicaL” scheme. As I mentioned a while back, the big problem with this idea is its incompatibility international trading, and this is presumably why the Task Group didn’t go this way.