Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Carbon pricing is a good idea, but only if it's pricing the energy value of carbon.

Carbon credits and emissions trading (ie pricing CO2) are complete bollocks IMHO, and brought to us by the same people who brought us the Credit Crunch.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Sep 30th, 2010 at 08:40:35 PM EST
(I will not rise to the bait on credits and trading. Let's see if the discussion gets off the ground, then come back to it.)

Design an emissions limitation plan for Australia, on the back of an envelope.

Here are some parameters :

* Labor's target for reduction in carbon emissions is
5 to 25 per cent by 2020

  • The Greens' target is 25 to 40 per cent by 2020.
  • The Opposition has backed away from its failed flat-earth election policy of climate denial. They now claim to want unspecified reductions, but claim it can be done for free by regulating power stations, and that it is urgent to do absolutely nothing until everyone else on earth does it first. They can be relied on to drag their feet, and their knuckles, on this issue (they declined to take seats on the climate policy committee). These people will probably be the government in three years' time.
  • The public want carbon reduction. I would guess that they will accept ambitious targets, if it can be shown that it won't cost them more than a few dollars a week.
  • The extractive industries want certainty. They currently can not make coherent investment decisions, since they don't know what the constraints will be in five years' time.

Over to you...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 05:54:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Step One - implement a levy in Aus $ on all carbon-based fuel sales and gradually ramp it up over a transition period.

Step Two - invest part of the resulting 'Carbon Pool' Aus $ fund in renewable energy projects (mega watts) and energy saving initiatives (nega watts) by direct investment in Units redeemable in payment for energy of all types.

This would be achieved by working with development/operating partners who receive an agreed proportional share of production or savings, or the associated revenues.

Step Three - distribute an 'energy dividend' of Units equitably to individuals and businesses.

Using this approach the recipients of Units have the choice of redeeming Units against profligate use of carbon fuels; exchanging Units for something else of value to them eg in the local shops; or of direct investment in Mega Watts of renewable energy production, or repayment of 'energy loans'  denominated in (say) kilo watt hours or equivalent, received to make (nega watt) energy saving investment.

The outcome is that Australian renewable and energy saving projects are essentially receiving value now in return for issuing Units which will cost nothing to redeem in the future. Moreover, to the extent that such Units begin to circulate as currency (which they will) there is an interest-free loan - aka seigniorage - available to finance renewable energy production and energy savings.

This approach - of monetising the intrinsic value of the energy in carbon, rather than attempting to monetise by 'fiat' CO2 which is intrinsically worthless - will IMHO achieve these targets.

This presentation to the Scottish Energy Institute set out the approach. I outlined it to a committee of the Scottish parliament, and it has received a great deal of interest up to and including ministers - watch this space.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 04:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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