Yes Virginia, Clive Palmer and Al Gore HAVE made an impact on Australia’s climate politics

Palmer and Gore: What are they good for? Independent Australia Sandi Keane 29 June 2014,When climate realists and coal billionaires share a stage to commit to climate change action, the end is nigh for the climate dinosaurs, says deputy editor Sandi Keane.

THE MEDIA HAS STRUGGLED since Wednesday to make sense of the Palmer/Gore shock presser with guess-which-media monopoly trumpeting it as a win for Abbott and many of the more independent-hue cynically declaring it a damp squib and Crikey even going so far as to call it a win for climate denialists.…….

Firstly, it should be noted, Al Gore – former U.S. vice-president and rightful victor in the 2000 U.S. presidential election – is no-one’s fool…….

If anyone thinks there’s been no shift in the body politic in Canberra to act on global warming thanks to Gore’s intervention with Palmer, then more fool them.

Granted, a tectonic shift it wasn’t. Gore deplored Palmer’s repealing of the carbon tax. But whenPalmer United Party (PUP) senators met last weekend, there was reluctance to break an election promise.

several high profile climate campaigners, like former Australian Conservation Foundation boss,Don Henry, and Christine Milne’s former chief of staff, Ben Oquist , who were lobbying Clive Palmer behind the scenes. Impromptu as it looked, last Wednesday’s shock announcement by the Palmer United Party had been carefully negotiated over a number of weeks.

At the risk of re-stating the facts, let’s look at PUP’s scoreboard before and after Gore’s intervention.

Pre-Gore’s visit:

Renewable Energy Target                             x

Clean Energy Finance Corporation              x

Climate Change Authority                              x

Australian Renewable Energy Agency        x

AGW believer                                                   x

ETS                                                                    x

Carbon tax                                                        x

Post-Gore’s visit:

RET                                                                  ✔

CEFC                                                              ✔

CCA                                                                ✔

ARENA                                                           ?

AGW believer                                                ✔

ETS                                                                 ✔

CT                                                                    x

What benefit is Palmer United Party’s support for an ETS?…….


Important note here: Australia already has a signed MOA to link its ETS to California’s scheme. More on that later.

PUP’s ETS is Labor’s legislated ETS, which would have been lost when the carbon tax is repealed. The ETS amendment will be to the Climate Change Authority repeal bill and introduced in the Senate. Agreed, it’s hard to see how this can get up once the carbon tax is repealed.

But as a policy to take to the people at the 2016 election?

Being willing to bide their time until the next election in 2016 was obviously factored in by Gore and his advisers before agreeing to the media conference. This would give our trading partners enough wriggle room to lock in or extend their current programs.

Having checked with a PUP staffer yesterday, to date, there is no condition that such emission trading schemes have to be federally-run or nation-wide.

Our trading partners and their ETSs

Firstly, the rest of the world is moving to hoover up their greenhouse gas emissions.

With eight new carbon markets opened in 2013, the world’s emissions trading schemes are now valued about US$30 billion.

The World Bank reported last month that more and more countries are moving on climate pricing, primarily China:

“China now houses the second largest carbon market in the world, covering the equivalent of 1,115 million tons of carbon dioxide, after the EU ETS, with its 2,039 MtCO2e cap in 2013.”

Let’s check out now what is happening with afore-mentioned trading partners.

United States…… China……. South Korea….Japan…..

Summing up

In summing up, an examination of the facts shows we have good reason to put aside our cynicism.

The Palmer conversion is a game-changer.

By 2016, the named trading partners who already have trading schemes in various forms  will have consolidated their schemes, renewable energy would have dethroned King Coal and we’ll have Labor, the Greens and PUP all campaigning for a return of the ETS.,6619


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