This will take a bit longer, although the government clearly can ignore the recommendations of the Climate Change Authority. But check out this bit of good news:
Mr Hunt also signed a departmental brief to close the Climate Change Authority (CCA), a move that requires consultation with the authority and legislation to be passed by parliament.
This authority is chaired by Bernie Fraser – no, I am not making this up – and includes David Karoly, Clive Hamilton and John Quiggin.
A report is currently being prepared looking at Caps and Target. According to their blurb:
The Climate Change Authority has commenced the first review of Australia’s emissions caps (the “Caps and Target Review”). The Caps and Targets Review will recommend a target for reductions in emissions for Australia in 2020, and a proposed pathway to that target. As part of this Review, the Authority will also recommend annual emissions caps (or limits) for Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20.
Given the government’s commitment to abolish the carbon tax, I can’t see the point in the authority proceeding with this exercise. (My guess is, that given the composition of the authority, the report will argue for a higher target than the 5 per cent. The argument will be that with lower priced permits, we can afford to go higher!).
And if the report on the RET is anything to go by (terrible), we will be none the worse off if this Caps and Targets report is never finalised.
Can I also make the point that the emissions target is essentially a political exercise – leave it to the government to decide. We don’t need a separate agency to give advice. Departmental information and presentation of options should be sufficient. (Note: I am not supporting target setting.)