Carbon pricing resurrection: What?

As the year is drawing to a close, I reflect on one of the final political frictions of the year in Canberra, which was across the headlines in early December. It started by the environment minister announcing a review within his Department to do with possible alternatives for Australia to meet its GHG emission commitments. A possibility of proposing an emissions trading scheme (of sorts) for the electricity sector was flagged.
This created massive disdain within Government’s own ranks leading the prime minister to publicly reject any notion of ‘carbon pricing’ or a ‘carbon tax’.
It is just another reminder of how politically dangerous these words have become in Australia, making it practically impossible to use two of the most valuable economic instruments of environmental policy. It is like shooting oneself in a foot! We know that those policy instruments work, but we can’t use them because we made them a political anathema!
In the meantime, Australian GHG emissions kept increasing. A final letdown in a year to forget for the Government on all fronts, and certainty on environmental front!
And, yes: Happy New Year! Hopefully a better one!

Author: Tiho Ancev

Tiho Ancev is a Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the School of Economics, University of Sydney. His main research areas are agricultural, environmental, natural resource and energy economics. Tiho’s main contributions have been in water economics and policy, economics of energy, economics of air pollution and climate change policies, and economics of precision agriculture and agricultural input use. He has published widely on these topics in top international peer reviewed journals. Tiho has led and contributed to national and international research projects in these research areas. He is currently the Managing Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.