Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks complete rubbish on climate policy

Turnbull’s two key political messages since Frydenberg’s unseemly capitulation to conservatives earlier in the week – that we won’t do carbon pricing lest it inflate power bills, and that governments have a fundamental obligation to keep the lights on – are entirely inconsistent with the actions the government is taking

Turnbull in hot panOn climate policy and power prices Turnbull is talking rubbish. Here are some facts, Guardian,  Katharine Murphy, 9 Dec 16 
An emissions trading scheme is the cheapest way meet Australia’s climate commitments – which will be news to anyone listening to the Coalition. 
I just want to be very, very clear that energy prices are too high already. We will do everything that we can to put downward pressure on energy prices. We will not impose a carbon tax, or an emissions trading scheme – that is our position.

This is the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, talking to the Melbourne radio host, Neil Mitchell, on Thursday, talking nonsense as it turned out – which is what the government has been doing all week on the subject of climate change.

How do I know he was talking nonsense?

There are any number of reports we can draw on to call out what can only be described as unmitigated, lowest common denominator, political crap emanating from the mouth of the prime minister – but I’ll just pick a couple.

Let me share with you the findings of a report that lobbed into the public domain at the start of the week, sandwiched between the government opening what could have been a rational and productive conversation about climate change and energy policy, and the government melting in a small puddle of panic.

A firm called Jacobs was commissioned by the energy networks industry, in cooperation with the CSIRO, to look very carefully at Australia’s climate policy options. Jacobs is the same economic modelling firm used by the Climate Change Authority to analyse the impact of various policies. The CSIRO signed off on the report.

The firm looked at which policy would allow Australia to meet the emissions reduction obligations the Turnbull government signed up to when it ratified the Paris international climate agreement with the least impact on households.

The answer was very clear. It was an emissions intensity trading scheme.

That would be the scheme the energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, very sensibly floated, after he cleverly and carefully set up the Direct Action review with sufficient breadth to be able to consider it – before he ran a mile when Cory Bernardi, Tony Abbott and Craig Kelly started stamping their feet and flaring their nostrils like a triumvirate of bulls in a paddock……..

You might be interested to know that the emissions intensity scheme (now scorned by the Turnbull government as being a source of upward pressure on household energy bills) would deliver an average saving of $216 a year on household electricity bills compared with business as usual……

Now what is the “business as usual” example in the Jacob scenario?

That’s the existing policy mix. That would be the Direct Action policy framework, with tighter baselines to drive the reductions required to meet Australia’s Paris commitments of reducing emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030, plus the existing state-based renewable energy targets, which the government in Canberra claims not to like.

The status quo with the tweaks required to hit the Paris target are not the magic formula to lower power prices, they are the opposite. It’s the most expensive option Jacob looked at.

So ruling out carbon pricing is not, to quote Turnbull, doing “everything that we can to put downward pressure on energy prices” – it’s a recipe for keeping power prices higher than they would otherwise be.

And failing the test he’s set for himself is not the only problem Turnbull faces. Lacking the bottle to have a serious conversation about a rational, long-term energy policy framework to govern the electricity industry, and other high emissions players, is a recipe not only for higher power prices, but also for more energy insecurity.

More blackouts. A less efficient grid.

Now how do I know that? Because the chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has produced a report saying so in no uncertain terms.

Finkel has said people can’t invest in new electricity infrastructure in the absence of regulatory certainty, and when investment doesn’t happen, we have a second-rate grid.

So, to recap this tale of woe, Turnbull’s two key political messages since Frydenberg’s unseemly capitulation to conservatives earlier in the week – that we won’t do carbon pricing lest it inflate power bills, and that governments have a fundamental obligation to keep the lights on – are entirely inconsistent with the actions the government is taking……… https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/09/on-climate-policy-and-power-prices-turnbull-is-talking-rubbish-here-are-some-facts

December 9, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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