Archive for ‘Multi-Party Climate Change Committee’

July 4, 2011

AFR clippings 4th July

Business to pay fuel carbon tax
4 July 2011
Louise Dodson and Laura Tingle

Business will pay more for petrol and diesel through reduced fuel tax concessions under the carbon scheme being finalised by Labor, but individuals will be unaffected….
The exemption for motorists is a disappointment for the Greens and a win for rural independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott….

Dumbing down carbon tax debate (page 23)
Alan Mitchell
So, the carbon tax debate is about to be enriched by the addition of yet another television advertising campaign – this one sponsored by business. Sadly, there may be some loss of subtlety in the translation from detailed discussion papers to plasma screen, particularly if business has its usual difficulty in distinguishing between legitimate issues of public policy and its own grubby rent-seeking.

And there’s a long profile piece on Greg Combet too, if that sort of thing floats your boat…

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June 29, 2011

AFR: “NAB chief backs Labor climate plan”

Brief clippings from today’s AFR…

Australian Financial Review 29 June 2011

NAB chief backs Labor climate plan

Marcus Priest and Andrew Cornell

Labor’s carbon price scheme has gained strong backing from National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne but the government has faltered in the sales pitch for its household compensation package.
As signs emerged that Labor will struggle to reach a deal on carbon with the Greens and key NSW independents within weeks, Mr Clyne said the government’s plan offered certainty to drive investment, rating it economically superior to the Coalition’s “direct action plan”….

His comments follow those of Westpac Banking Corp chief executive Gail Kelly, who said last month that a carbon price was an “important economic reform and the single most effective policy mechanism for addressing climate change and preparing Australia for the global low carbon operating environment.”

[for the record, Rio Tinto’s boss demurs]

Meanwhile…

MPCCC talks continue today, with Rob Oakeshott sticking around in Canberra rather than fly to Perth for a speaking gig at the Australian Mining and Exploration Companies thing in Perth (the one where brainac Christopher Monckton is sharing his latest pearls of wisdom).

“The major issues dividing the committee are over assistance to coal-fired power generators and coal-mines, but other crucial issues include setting emissions reduction targets when a fixed carbon price moves to an emissions trading scheme, as well as energy efficiency measures.”

Ross Garnaut shouting from sidelines that independent governance is crucial, and that the more compensation there is for coal-fired generators the less there is for tax cuts and innovation.

June 27, 2011

Low carbon price, compo and steeper price climb later?

That was the gist of the front page of the Australian Financial Review, which claimed there’d been a deal between Labour and Greens, with the Greens accepting more compo for (polluting) industry than the Greens want, in exchange for a steeper climb of the carbon price in the medium term.  Apparently two weeks from a decision/announcement out of the MPCCC, and then lots of “public relations” (or, if you’re against this, as a majority of the Australian public are currently, “propaganda”) during the winter parliamentary recess…

June 24, 2011

Australian Finanical Review – what a paper!

The great things about the business press are
a) that they don’t cover celebrities and sports and all that stuff that you’d otherwise have to filter out
b) the facts per page ratio is bearable (compared with the dross in Murdoch)

Friday 24th’s paper is no exception.

How Gillard took on Rudd
Pamela Williams
Gillard has made an even greater mess since, with her own failure to adequately explain her reasons for breaking a 2010 election promise not to introduce a carbon tax – and those reasons that she has advanced (circumstances change) have failed to find any traction in a sullen and disenchanted electorate.

Yup.  I must say, it’s very unreasonable of the electorate to expect “no carbon tax” would mean “no carbon tax.”

New or old, it’s a precarious paradigm
Laura Tingle [who is the best regular reporter/commentator I’ve encountered. If people have better suggestions, please let me know.]
The farce of Abbott’s call for a plebiscite on a carbon price (which he would only take notice of if it agreed with him) seems to confirm that the Coalition is starting to run out of ways to keep its daily assault on the carbon price in the news cycle. [ACN: I am sure the Murdoch press will continue to oblige him, as long as is inhumanly possible!]
The opposition must now hope that any signs of dissent on the other side of the carbon debate will provide some new fodder because otherwise it will have at least five or six weeks over winter when the bicyle-like momentum of Abbott’s whole raison d’etre could slow.

There are real political dangers ahead for Lab/Lib/Greens/Indies in this. The number one danger – that we will emerge with a scheme that does SFA for carbon emissions – seems like a racing certainty. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut (RIP) used to say.

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee may still not agree at all, or only in part, on a carbon price. While there will then be intense pressure on the Greens to make a deal on a climate price, if the tricky issues like coal and electricity generation compensation can’t be solved, Labor may yet have to take its chances with bits of its packaged on the floor of both houses, as independent MP Tony Windsor noted last week.

Quite. Labor needs to not look weak, and might just take the game of chicken through to the lower house instead of faffing on into mid-July. This whole shamozzle will drag on till September when the legislation comes out. Nerves of steel and all that…

Meanwhile, business ain’t happy…

Carbon confusion unites retail giants
Sue Mitchell
Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and David Jones yesterday called on the federal government to provide greater clarity on the carbon tax and expressed doubt it could be introduced by July next year because they had yet to be consulted on its implementation.

and who’dathunkit – elsewhere a Coal Miner sez the sky will fall…
Vale Australia’s head of coal operations asserts ”Coal, if it is thermal, I don’t think can live with any carbon tax.”

June 23, 2011

Australian Financial Review clippings

The Fin is, as far as I can see, the only paper giving detailed serious coverage on the negotiations/bun-fights around the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.

Here’s snippets from Marcus Priest’s story in today’s paper
Crossbench push for solar

The Greens and key NSW independents have backed a push for a new national scheme to support the solar industry, amid criticism of the Productivity Commission’s findings about the expense of solar panels….

Bob Brown rejected a report that the government and Greens were close to a deal “We have very real hurdles in the negotiation process.” The AFR says “It is understood a deal is not expected for at least a fortnight….

A report by consultants Connection Research and financial analysts SuperRatings has found that most ASX100 companies would comfortably be able to absorb a $20 carbon tax, even without compensation.

June 17, 2011

Youtube – the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee for Beginners

The MPCCC basics – when, who, why, how, outcomes and predictions. Complete with mispronunciation of Greg Combet’s name. Trolls will be along shortly, no doubt…

June 17, 2011

MPCCC tensions around… 12 million bucks on an advertising campaign

This from AAP, via Climate Spectator

A key independent MP has suggested the federal government’s multi-party climate change committee might not be able to reach an agreed position on a carbon tax.

But Tony Windsor denies talks have stalled and that goodwill amongst committee members is dissipating.

“We haven’t decided on a firm structure yet,” he told ABC Television ahead of a meeting of the committee today.

Mr Windsor and another independent member of the committee, Rob Oakeshott, are unhappy with a government decision to spend $12 million on a carbon tax advertising campaign, warning the surprise announcement had shown a lack of good faith.

Facepalm. This Gillard woman couldn’t sell beef burgers to a stranded Chilean rugby team in the Andes.

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June 16, 2011

MPCCC shenanigans 16 June

Good piece from Business Spectator on the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.

It’s mostly about the face-off between Christine Milne and Martin Ferguson, but includes interesting stuff on a Labour backbencher called Stephen Jones, and on rooftop solar panels. It concludes –

There’s no doubt the carbon debate has moved forward substantially in the past week, but with more and more of the facts on the table, the political stakes just get higher. MPCCC negotiations will go down to the wire, but there will clearly have to be substantial ground given on both sides.

Labor will do so to avoid annihilation. And the Greens must do likewise. If they don’t, the same voters who think roof-top panels will save the world will simplistically view Milne and her colleagues as the party that blocked carbon pricing legislation yet again.

June 16, 2011

The MPCCC game of chicken continues…

From the front page of the Australian Financial Review 15 June
“The Gillard government is threatening to jettison negotiations with the Greens and key independents over a carbon price if it fails to secure compensation for the highest emitting coalmines and coal-fired generators.”

Uhuh. A credible threat? Gillard may be toast, but she’s toast sooner if the carbon price don’t get through. We will see if the Greens and indies blink…

Further down in the story, by Marcus Priest and Peter Kerr “Labor hauls Greens over the coals” we learn that modelling about job losses which was of course much-trumpetted by the Murdoch press may not have been quite so worthy of the acres of newsprint it got. It was done by ACIL-Tasman (creators of useful-to-the-rich factoids) for those cuddly Australian Coal Association types. According to the Fin, investment analysts questioned the modelling, saying it was “based upon no government assistance being provided.”
And the Grattan Institute said the report did not take into account the likelihood of offsetting rises in coal prices if there was a noticeable withdrawal of Australian production.
The Fin then quotes Grattan ceo John Daley thusly –
“The study is based on unreliable data, its findings are contrary to data published by coal producers themselves, the study ignores the dynamics between Australian production and global prices, and the study fails to mention that even if it is right, there is unlikely to be any net change in Australian unemployment.”

Doubtless Andrew Bolt is, as I type this, busily pointing the ratshittness of the ACIL-Tasman report to his legions of followers, and asking them to reflect on how much of what they read in the Murdoch press is pure spin and bollocks… … tumbleweed….

UPDATE 22 June: The Australian Coal Association has started its campaign. Rob Oakeshott is muttering about a carbon price of $15 or so.

June 9, 2011

Twitcher’s guide to Australian climate megafauna

Can I justify the two and a half hours it took to put this together? No. Is it full of obscure jokes and cod-Latin. Yes.
Will I put up a bit of an explanation of who all these guys are? Possibly.
Selection criteria were – all of the Climate Commissioners, the 7 MPCCCers and various other folk who seemed important (but then, what do I know?). 6 women, 24 Anglos. Oh dear. Other suggestions welcome…