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POLLUTION POLICY IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE August 5, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Environment.
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The evidence of increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events would appear to be evident and likely, both locally and globally.

Up to the plate steps Joe Hockey ready to hit the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and presumably the Climate Commission out of the park. Is this evidence of a policy based on denying the scientific findings of the causes, consequences and time frames of climate warming? Perhaps not.

Leonore Taylor in The Sydney Morning Herald writes:

The Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, said without a department the Coalition would have no one to administer its $10.5 billion direct action policy.

The possible axeing of the department came as Coalition frontbenchers confirmed their policy did leave open the option of closing a brown coal-fired power station and replacing it with gas-fired power, despite the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, saying during a visit to the Latrobe Valley that the ”smart way forward” was not to close power stations or to stop using brown coal.

Greg Hunt, the Climate Change spokesman explained:

”We will provide incentives for cleaning up, not closing down, of power stations. This could include, as it always has, carbon capture and storage, capture of emissions for use in algal energy, conversion from coal to gas on a progressive basis over a period of years subject to no additional impact on electricity prices, or plant efficiency improvements.”

The Opposition intends to pay the coal companies to reduce their carbon dioxide pollution, but not to tax them. That is an odd policy position to adopt. Whereas I suppose the Opposition addresses in some fashion the issue of reducing emissions it does not appear to confront the related matters of energy efficiency, new technology such as battery technology which might be a game changer for alternative energy sources, or moving investment priorities. The possibility of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the short term of the next century is probably considered
not feasible.

ELSEWHERE:

The Climate Commission has released a paper, The Critical Decade.

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