Sadly, I’m certain there’ll be a carbon tax.
But why merely tax carbon domestically? If Australia wants to have a real global impact on emissions then why doesn’t it also tax the export of coal to heavy-polluting countries, and tax the import of manufactured goods back from these same countries? Some of that money could be used to switch Australia to ‘clean’ energies, and the remainder allocated to research into renewable technologies, with the subsequent discoveries gifted back to those developing nations (in particular, China and India) thus making a real contribution to a reduction in global emissions instead of a token one.
Also, this would have no further impact on the cost of food, or domestic energy supply, requiring no additional complicated rebate mechanisms. Only goods from China and India (and perhaps the US) would go up in price, which would also encourage domestic manufacturing and a reduction of consumer waste. These are all good things, no?
However, implementing such a scheme would take some real strength on the part of Mister Rudd’s department. How about it, Kevin? Got the stones for it? Make other countries also pay the CSIRO et. al. to solve their problems– why shouldn’t they pull their weight too?
Forget the carbon tax. Tax coal exports to polluters. Tax manufactured imports from polluters. Tax electricity domestically if necessary to avoid charges of protectionism, but a small amount with no rebate scheme. This will make a much greater difference then a ‘price on carbon’.
How about it, Mister Rudd?