EDITORIAL: Whats the cost of a fair emissions trading system?

By: Chris Smith

Anyone reading the papers would think it is a case of heavy carbon emitters, dirty industries, for too long have

Anyone reading the papers would think it is a case of heavy carbon emitters, dirty industries, for too long have had too much political clout and governments haven’t been able to enforce any environmental standards.

It is simply just a case of the media burying the lead and not taking note of other programs in place including the Greenhouse Challenge Program which has existed for years targeting heavy carbon emitters and energy users.

Australian industries have for a long time adapted and adopted auditing mechanisms to monitor energy usage and carbon emissions.

Governments have known about the dire circumstances for a long time and that is why they have pushed stricter emissions standards onto industries, including engine manufacturers, years ago.

The claim is by 2012 the European, Japanese, and American emissions standards will actually mean the air going into the vehicle will be dirtier than the air coming out.

Governments around the world new the issues, and our governments are no exception. It has taken so long to come to this point because this is the way governments work. Regardless of who was in power, we have reached a point when we are contemplating how to regulate and enforce an emissions trading scheme?

Is climate change really happening? The experts say yes it is, sceptics say it is all hot air, excuse the pun, and some could even claim climate change as an issue is a false construct to slow down developing countries in order for more developed countries, with adequate carbon trading schemes, to keep a hold of the status quo.

Well, we’ll just dismiss that last theory as America is ashamedly one of the World’s worse offenders when it comes to emissions, they ‘aint’ keeping anyone down this way…that’s why they have tariffs.

Per capita Australia isn’t much better. As well as having the status as World’s fattest nation, we are early technology adopters and heavy consumers of everything new.

The luxury of living in a house, or unit, driving a car, recreational use of a boat, owning a bigger than the wall television and plugging in the PDA, MP3 player, mobile phone and laptop is a major contributor to energy consumption.

It is this energy consumption which keeps the world ticking over, whether it is manufacturing that car, transporting that TV, using the car to go to work so you can pay for the boat… it all comes down to energy usage.

So it is not only the top 1000 emitters responsibility to on-cost the price of carbon emissions, but it is now the governments’ responsibility to educate the population to live with 90 percent less energy derived from carbon producing fuels.

This could include smaller cars, smaller boats, smaller televisions, I Phones and of course bigger buses and better public transport infrastructure.

There shouldn’t be any major changes or costs associated with bringing in a carbon trading scheme, it should be a way of rewarding industries which clean up their act.

The hoohar is simply a ratings grab and a scare campaign.

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