Andrew Leigh is out and about talking about keeping the carbon tax.
The Coalition’s vague Direct Action policy will do less and cost more than a carbon price. It’s hard to find a serious economist who will argue otherwise.
I don’t actually disagree with that statement. It is largely meaningless though, because the carbon price policy that the former government introduced wasn’t going to be doing much either.
By 2050 if a global mechanism is in place Australia will only have been able to reduce emissions by 2 percent of 2000 levels. The rest all comes from overseas abatement. Looking to 2020, Australia by itself will not be able reach a 5 percent abatement.
Here is a graph from the Treasury modelling that justified the carbon tax.
The thing to watch is the green line – this is what it looks like without all the other stuff.
Australia will never reach the bipartisan target of 5 per cent. Certainly not without a credible viable international scheme in place. Such such a scheme does not exist and will not exist in the near term. As such any and every dollar we spend is wasted. That applies to both the ALPs carbon price policy and the Coalitions direct action policy.
Samuel J has dealth with other issues in the Leigh piece here.
I was also bemused by the his understanding of the word “mandate”.
Coalition members should remember that a mandate means people who campaign on a platform should vote that way on the floor of parliament. For example, the Coalition took a carbon pricing plan to the 2007 election, so failed to recognise their mandate when they voted down carbon pricing in 2009. What a mandate does not mean is that parties should abandon their election pledges if they lose.
Really? Losing an election means that you don’t need to heed the feedback from the electorate?