In The Australian today:
“Start with what is uncontested. First, once carbon emitters are issued permits, those permits will be property they own, so any government that abolishes them will have to pay compensation, possibly in the billions of dollars.
Second, entitlements created by statute may be found by the High Court to be property even if that is not specified in the legislation creating them. But specifying it in the legislation, as the government intends, makes that outcome, and the need to pay compensation, far more certain.
Third, a future government could not get around the need to pay compensation simply by mandating a zero carbon price. This is because that would almost certainly require rejecting the Climate Change Authority’s recommended abatement trajectory. But unless that government could convince both houses of parliament to adopt another abatement target, such a rejection triggers a default pricing mechanism. And far from reducing the carbon price, the legislated mechanism could increase it by up to 10 per cent in a single year.
Fourth, nor could a future government get its way by modifying the membership of the Climate Change Authority.
Rather, the legislation creating the authority limits the number of members it can have: unlike, for example, that establishing the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. And a government has little scope to dismiss members once they have been appointed. The new government would therefore be stuck with its predecessor’s authority.”
Read on at The Australian’s website..