Aug 1, 2008

How Do The Australian and New Zealand Emissions Trading Policies Compare?

Catherine Beard compares the two schemes today in today's Herald. It is good to see such a balanced analysis, as opposed to the bias one reads every Sunday in the Sunday Star Times....

The Rudd government across the Tasman has opted for a softly, softly approach to emissions trading to minimise the impact on the cost of living for Australian consumers and businesses.
The aim seems to be to ease them into emissions trading with as little pain in the pocket as possible for the first few years, recognising that the effects of putting a price on carbon will be "profound" and on a par with some of the biggest economic reforms ever made.
In New Zealand, there has been an attempt by politicians to play down the impact of the proposed emissions trading scheme, despite the fact that comparisons with other schemes show it to be the most comprehensive and expensive approach in the world.
This suggests that if the Government does manage to get small party support for the current emissions trading bill, it will not have a long life. It is hard to imagine how long a scheme would last in New Zealand if our businesses and consumers are facing increases in the price of fuel and energy at the international price of $40-50 a tonne of carbon dioxide, while Australia has capped the price of carbon at $25 a tonne of CO2.