Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Australia's carbon price legislation is a sign of growing up

After years of dithering, today's decision by the Senate to pass the Clean Energy Bill is a momentous occasion in more ways than one.  Yes, I think the policy itself is a good one, but it's the maturity as a country that has really struck a chord internationally.

So the largest polluters will pay for carbon emissions, pass on the costs to consumers who will be compensated, and clean energy innovation will thrive.  Economically and ecologically the evidence suggests this will be a positive for Australia.

Huge international interest

But what has been more compelling is the positive international response. Within 12 hours, there are over 800 global news stories covering this decision, and a variety of opinions.

BBC: Australia's Senate has approved a controversial law on pollution, after years of bitter political wrangling.
WSJ: Australia's Carbon Tax Clears Final Hurdle
Xinhua: A latest report showed the carbon tax will cost 0.98 trillion U. S. dollars on the Australian economy, or 39,086 U.S. dollars per Australian from July next year to 2050.
TVNZ: Australia passes landmark carbon tax laws

Leadership by Gillard

Whether you like the law, or dislike it; whether you see it as an economic positive or negative, this story has put Australia's leadership credentials on the global stage.  Rather than waiting to be led by the next Kyoto round, or following the path of larger countries, Prime Minister Gillard has shown real leadership.

Whether you agree with him or not, you can't ignore the power of Al Gore.  And when he says, "With this vote, the world has turned a pivotal corner in the collective effort to solve the climate crisis,” it is a clear sign that Australia is setting the agenda on a major issue.

After failing to vote for a Republic 12 years ago, finally Australia is growing up.  Whatever your views on the Clean Energy Act, we should be proud to take our place on the world stage. Oh, and it's good for our brand.

Let me know what you think


  1. Not sure I agree with you on this one Mark

    Huge International Response:

    800 Global responses actually isn't that large, and the vast majority of these articles are similar and just a short report outlining the passing of the tax laws. I don't see the positive reporting that you seem too?

    Leadership by Gillard:
    Again I don't agree with you, in fact if anything is has shown the world that in the current economic client how economically irresponsible this government has been.
    The government is too far ahead of the curve, compared to our competitors. Imagine if Rudd (and I was a fan of Rudd) had his way and we had passed a carbon law a few years ago? The world as a hole hasn't moved forward on addressing carbon so why should we risk our future well being.
    "Rather than waiting to be led by the next Kyoto round, or following the path of larger countries, Prime Minister Gillard has shown real leadership" - totally disagree!!
    Gillard has no mandate to introduce a carbon tax after her promise just days before the last election. The fact that this is a composite government does not change this fact. Gillard made it very clear that under her government she leads (which she is now leading) there will be no Carbon tax. You can't deny this statement and it shows a lack of respect for those that voted for her.
    Real leadership (and balls) would be taking her proposed tax to the people and backing herself. If this tax (and i'm not saying that it's not) is beneficial for our country, then sell this to the people and let the country decide!!

    Looking forward to more regular posts from you Mark.

  2. Dear Anonymous

    In any liberal democracy, everyone is entitled to their views. Thank you for sharing yours - clearly we don't agree, but I look forward to hearing your comments to further posts.

    Mark S