SMH: An apology to my grandchildren for not preventing local weather change sufficient

Essay by Eric Worrall

A strict carbon cap on industry, intended to force a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030, is not enough – “these biggest polluters account for just 28% of Australia’s total emissions”.

An apology to my grandchildren for not fighting in the war of our time

Ross Gittins
business editor
February 1, 2023 – 5:00 am

While on vacation I noticed a tweet that left me in no doubt as to the topic of my first column. It said: “I truly believe that the next generation will not forgive us for what we have done to them and to the world they have to live in.”

“Well I’ve been very busy writing about the shocking cost of living – oh, and rising interest rates.” Really? Is that the best apology you can offer, grandpa?

While the rest of us were at the beach, Climate Secretary Chris Bowen announced a few weeks ago that emissions from Australia’s 215 biggest industrial polluters – which operate coal mines, gas works, smelters and steel mills – will be capped, with caps gradually coming down 30 per cent 2030

Companies whose emissions exceed their cap face heavy fines. To the extent that they cannot use cleaner production processes to reduce their emissions, they are allowed to buy “carbon credits” from other heavy polluters who have been able to reduce their emissions by more than they need to, or from farmers who have even more trees planted.

The problem is that it wasn’t long before the pundits started pointing out all the holes in the scheme. First of all, the combined emissions of these biggest polluters make up just 28 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.

Read more: 20230130-p5cgn4.html

Between the lines, Ross seems to want the industry carbon cap to be extended to individuals or small businesses? Otherwise, why complain that the industry cap only covers 28% of emissions?

But the real question is: what impact will this new Australian carbon cap have on the economy?

Big companies could stay in Australia and face the carbon cap and fines. Or they could stop investing in Australia, move to nearby Asia, move all jobs offshore, and continue to make unlimited profits.

Gee, that’s a tough question, I wonder what option will company directors caught in the noose of the new carbon credit system choose?

Of course, the Australian government allows industry to buy its way out of the cap by buying carbon credits. The carbon credit industry is reportedly awash with cheap fake carbon credits, so maybe the cap won’t be such a burden after all – just another piece of meaningless paperwork and some cash for supposedly dodgy fake carbon credit providers.

Or perhaps reporter Ross Gittins will insist that the fake carbon credit system be properly audited to prevent carbon fraud — which could lead to more genocidal attacks on Africans in order to rid carbon credit farms of human residents and maximize their offset profit potential.

Now that would be something to apologize for.

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