Friday, July 18, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Foundation

Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax
Tony Abbott’s Victory As Aussies Repeal Carbon Tax

After almost a decade of heated political debate, Australia has become the world's first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. In a vote that could highlight the difficulty in implementing additional measures to reduce carbon emissions ahead of global climate talks next year in Paris, Australia's Senate on Wednesday voted 39-32 to repeal a politically divisive carbon emissions price that contributed to the fall from power of three Australian leaders since it was first suggested in 2007. --Rob Taylor and Rhiannon Hoyle, The Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2014

If I could address a few words to the Australian people – you voted to scrap the tax in September last year and today the Parliament finally listened. Today, the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone. A useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment is finally gone. --Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Canberra, 17 July 2014

Out of the confusion, conspiracy and chaos of the Senate’s tortured carbon tax debate, has wrought a victory. After campaigning against a “carbon tax’’ at two elections and tapping into public dissatisfaction over Labor’s climate change policy for more than five years, the Prime Minister can declare the carbon tax repealed. With his budget and political standing under pressure Abbott dearly needed a clear victory. Today he has it. The carbon tax is repealed and his biggest promise is fulfilled. Climate change policy is now left in abeyance, while consumers will expect lower prices for electricity and gas. --Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, 17 July 2014

Policymakers have voted to abolish Australia’s tax on carbon emissions, to the delight of some and the dismay of others. The policy change was not welcomed by all. The Climate Institute, for one, released a damning indictment of the government’s stance. Other sources have seen the decision as proof that a carbon tax may not be the best fix in global effort to tackle climate change. “Today’s decision is a very significant development for climate policy,” says Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “It is proof that unilateral carbon taxes or other costly climate policies are unsustainable in the absence of an international agreement.” --The New Economy, 17 July 2014

In the history of taxes, Australia's levy on carbon emissions must go down as one of the most unsuccessful in history. Tony Abbott, Australia's centre-right Prime Minister, finally made good on his pre-election pledge after his government repealed the measure introduced by his Labor predecessor Julia Gillard. Poorly thought out and highly unpopular, the tax is almost unique in that it generated virtually no revenue for the Australian Treasury, contributed to the rising costs that have taken the gloss off the country's resources boom and essentially brought down Ms Gillard's former Government. --Andrew Critchlow, The Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2014

The lesson here is that voters are not easily deceived when politicians try to conceal the costs of their environmental ambitions. Nor do emissions restrictions grow more popular the more politicians try to sell them. Another lesson is that real leaders are not afraid to challenge a stifling political consensus. When global warming alarmism was dominant in late 2009, Mr Abbott — encouraged by people like us — had the political nerve and moral conviction to provoke people into questioning the religious fervour of carbon pricing. To wit, he has been able to pioneer a new direction in climate policy that has transformed Australian politics. Bring out the champagne! --The Spectator Australia 12 July 2014


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