Tue Jul 17, 2007
Prime Minister John Howard says the Federal Government will introduce a new "cap and trade" emissions trading system … The Government will increase spending on measures to tackle global warming by $627 million … Mr Howard says the new emissions scheme will help Australia substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost.
"Australia will more than play its part to address climate change but will do it in a practical and balanced way in full knowledge of the economic consequences for our nation," he said.
Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the carbon emissions trading scheme will be comprehensive adding:
"It will cover 80 per cent of all emission outside agriculture and about 55 per cent of total emissions in Australia," he said.
The scheme is set to be up and running by 2011.
Now the question is. If Howard was still Prime Minister or otherwise, if the Liberals retained power, what target would have been set?
It is not an easy question, however given the previous Governments balanced approach; one that placed equal emphasis on economic cost, I would venture to suggest that it would have been a soft target, certainly in single digits.
So what do we get today? Rudd commits to 5%
Despite his critics in the green brigade, John Howard would have touted such rational measures all along, Kevin Rudd on the other hand was happy - politically savvy - to raise expectations high, very high in fact, recall 25 to 40 percent by 2020 and 60 percent by 2050.
John Howard paid a price for his reasoned and rational approach.