Dishonest Australian Labor Government carbon price plan for climate change inaction
Top climate scientists around the World are saying that to have a high probability of avoiding a catastrophic 2 degree Centigrade temperature rise the World must stop GHG pollution by about 2050. However in Australia, a world leader in annual par capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and in fossil fuel exports, there is an unspoken agreement between the major parties (the Liberal-National Party Coalition Opposition and the Labor Party Government, aka the Lib-Labs) that Australia will keep burning and exporting fossil fuels until the World makes it stop. At huge expense to Australian taxpayers the pro-coal, pro-gas, anti-environment Australian Labor Government is posting out to all Australian householders a 20 page booklet called â€œWhat a carbon price means for you. The pathway to a clean energy futureâ€ (.pdf) and which dishonestly claims that the Gillard Labor Government is â€œtackling climate changeâ€. Australian taxpayers should be enraged that they are having to pay for being lied to by omission and commission and that their children are being lied to in a process of massive, nation-wide intellectual child abuse.
Before proceeding to systematically demolish the lies of this document, it is important to get the basic facts straight.
Australia is among the world leaders in annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution, coal exports and liquid natural gas (LNG) exports. Thus â€œannual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutionâ€ in units of â€œtonnes CO2-equivalent per person per yearâ€ (2005-2008 data) is 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), less than 3 (many African and Island countries), 3.2 (the Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (the Developed World), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australiaâ€™s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included).
Top UK climate scientists Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson ( Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have recently estimated that only about 0.5 billion people will survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming . Noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of about 10 billion people this century, this including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. Australia is disproportionately complicit in a worsening climate genocide (â€œClimate Genocideâ€).
Australia is world number 1 in coal exports and according to the Australian Government â€œAustralia is a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with considerable potential for further development based on its abundant resources of natural gas. Australia is the third largest LNG exporter in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest LNG exporter in the world, exporting 17.9 million tonnes in 2009-10 with a value of around $7.8 billionâ€ (see Australian Government, Department of Energy , Resources and Tourism, â€œAustralian liquefied natural gasâ€, 2010).
Politically Australia is dominated (18 July 2011 primary vote in parenthesis) by the Liberal-National Party Coalition Opposition (51%), the Australian Labor Party Government (26%) and the Greens (11%) (see â€œLatest Nielsen Pollâ€, Nielson, 18 July 2011). The Gillard Labor Government (elected in November 20101) is a Minority Government that rules with the support of 1 Greens MPs and 3 Independents and the next elections are due in 2013.
The Coalition greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution policy is essentially the SAME as that of the Labor Government, specifically â€œ5% off 2000 Domestic GHG pollution by 2020â€ coupled with unconstrained, unlimited, burgeoning, world-leading coal and liquid natural gas (LNG) Exports. The Coalition has a Direct Action Plan (energy efficiency, incentives for cleaner energy, re-afforestation, and biochar) but must be criticized for doing too little. However it can potentially do a lot more.
In contrast, .the Labor Government has proposed a Carbon Tax-ETS-Ignore Agriculture (CTETSIA) plan involving an indirect, selectively market-based plan to achieve a decrease in GHG pollution. Labor â€˜s CTETSIA plan entrenches climate change inaction while dishonestly pretending to do otherwise. Thus Laborâ€™s CTETSIA plan will: promote a disastrous coal to gas transition (that will double power sector-derived GHG pollution because methane leaks at about 3.3% and is 105 times worse than CO2 as a GHG on a 20 year timeframe with aerosol impacts included; see â€œPlanned coal to gas transition will DOUBLE Australian electric power greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutionâ€, Bellaciao, 15 May 2011); scupper science-demanded 100% renewable energy by 2020; institute an empirically ineffective, disastrously counterproductive and utterly fraudulent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (Source); and ignore agriculture (yet World Bank experts have recently determined that GHG pollution is 50% bigger than hitherto thought and that livestock alone contribute over 51% 9f the bigger figure; see Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. â€œLivestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are â€¦ cows, pigs and chickens?â€, World Watch, November/December 2009).
The big functional difference between the Libs and the Labs is that while the Libs can potentially ramp up their Direct Action plan for â€œ5% off 2000 by 2020â€ , Treasury analysis released by Treasurer Wayne Swan and Climate Minister Greg Combet several weeks ago (â€œStrong Growth, Low Pollution. Modelling a Carbon Priceâ€) reveals that Labor will certainly NOT achieve â€œ5% off 2000 by 2020â€ - in 2020 Australiaâ€™s annual Domestic GHG pollution will be 679 Mt CO2-e (Business As Usual) or 621 Mt CO2-e (with a Carbon Price) and can only attain the promised â€œ5% off 2000 level by 2020â€ value of 466 Mt CO2-e by the artifice of purchasing 155 Mt CO2-e of Internationally-sourced abatement credits.
Treasury, ABARE and US EIA data show that Australia will almost DOUBLE its annual Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution in 2020 relative to that in 2000 (1,012 Mt CO2-e pa) to 1,803 Mt CO2-e pa (with a Carbon Price) or 1,861 Mt CO2-e pa (without a Carbon Price) (see â€œAnalysis: Australian Labor Government Carbon Price-ETS scheme fails & entrenches climate change inactionâ€, Bellaciao).
It gets worse. In 2009 the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WBGU) determined that for a 75% chance of avoiding a 2 degree C temperature rise, the World must pollute less than 600 Gt CO2 between 2010 and essentially zero emissions in 2050. Unfortunately Australia (through disproportionately huge annual fossil fuel burning and exports) and Belize (through disproportionately huge annual deforestation) have already used up their â€œshareâ€ of this terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) budget - and are now stealing the entitlement of other countries (see â€œWorld has 600 Gt CO2 left to pollute before 2050: Australia & Belize have ALREADY used their â€œfair shareâ€â€, Bellaciao).
According to the Climate Commissionâ€™s report â€œThe Critical Decadeâ€, launched by PM Julia Gillard a month or so ago (Source), for a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2 degree C temperature rise (EU and Australian policy) the World must emit no more than 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 (1,000 Gt CO2) between 2010 and zero emissions in about 2050. One can readily calculate that Australiaâ€™s â€œfair shareâ€ of this terminal carbon pollution budget is 2,750 Mt CO2.
In 2009 Australiaâ€™s Domestic plus Exported GHG in Mt CO2-e totaled 600 (Domestic) + 31 (LNG) + 784 (coal) = 1,415 Mt CO2-e per year. Accordingly , at thjs rate of GHG pollution Australia will have 2,750 t CO2 / 1,425 t CO2-e per year = 1.9 years left before ti uses up its â€œshareâ€ of the terminal global GHG pollution â€œbudgetâ€ i.e. Australia must get to zero GHG pollution by mid-2012 or roughly when pro-coal, pro-gas Labor introduces its fraudulent dishonest and ineffective Carbon Tax-ETS scheme (Source).
However in 2009 the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WBGU) determined that for a 75% chance of avoiding a 2 degree C temperature rise, the World must pollute less than 600 Gt CO2 between 2010 and essentially zero emissions in 2050. Unfortunately Australia (through disproportionately huge annual fossil fuel burning and exports) and Belize (through disproportionately huge annual deforestation) have by August 2011 ALREADY used up their â€œshareâ€ of this terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) budget (see â€œWorld has 600 Gt CO2 left to pollute before 2050: Australia & Belize have ALREADY used their â€œfair shareâ€â€œ, Bellaciao).
For a detailed analysis of the worsening Climate Emergency sent to the Australian Government, its advisers and to Australian mainstream media see â€œLook-the-other-way, climate criminal Australia ignores 25 Elephant in the Room climate change realitiesâ€œ, Bellaciao, 6 July 2011). Yet look-the-other-way, climate criminal Australia simply does not want to know â€“ it wants to exploit and indeed expand exploitation of its huge coal and natural gas reserves until the World makes it stop.
With this background, one can now analyse the lies of commission and commission of the Australian Governmentâ€™s 20-page document â€œWhat a carbon price means for youâ€.
1. â€œClean energy futureâ€ (pages 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 19, 20 and as a footnote or heading on all odd-numbered pages) - in reality the CTETSIA plan will not even deliver a clean-er energy future. Thus Australiaâ€™s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution was 1,012 Mt CO2-e (2000 under the Coalition ), and 1,415 Mt CO2-e (in 2009 under Labor) but is predicted to be 1,803 Mt CO2-e in 2020 under the CTETSIA Plan according to Treasury modelling. More means less? Dirty means clean? Dirtier means cleaner?
2. â€œThe carbon price package will ensure that by the end of the decade Australia will cut 160 million tonnes of pollution from the atmosphere each yearâ€ (pages 3, 6) â€“ in reality, according to Treasury modeling, in 2020 Australiaâ€™s annual Domestic GHG pollution will be 679 Mt CO2-e (Business As Usual) or 621 Mt CO2-e (with a Carbon Price) and can only attain the promised â€œ5% off 2000 level by 2020â€ value of 466 Mt CO2-e by the artifice of purchasing 155 Mt CO2-e of Internationally-sourced abatement credits. This assertion of â€œ160 million tones of pollutionâ€ saved each year is scientifically illiterate, false and a profound deception.
3. â€œPutting a price on carbon is a big change for Australia â€“ but it will help protect the economy, environment and future generationsâ€ (p3) â€“ but not according to the Treasury , ABARE and the UDS EIA data which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner?
4. â€œWhy is Australia cutting its carbon pollution?â€ (p4) â€“ it is not as explained above.
5. â€œWe produce significantly more pollution per person than India and Chinaâ€ (p5) â€“ this is dishonest understatement. Australiaâ€™s annual per capita GHG pollution in 2009 was 1,415 Mt CO2-e CO2-e/22 million people = 64.3 tonnes CO2-e per person per year i.e. 64.3/2.2 = 29.2 times more than India (2.2) and 64.3/5.5 = 11.7 more than China (5.5). The genocidal, racist first PM of Australia Edmund Barton stated in 1901 that â€œThe doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of an Englishman and the Chinamanâ€. In 1947 the racist former Labor leader Arthur Calwell notoriously stated that â€œTwo Wongs donâ€™t make a Whiteâ€. However politically correct racist (PC racist) Labor today says that 11 Chinese arenâ€™t equivalent to 1 White Australian when it comes to per capita GHG pollution of the one common atmosphere of the world.
6. â€œAustraliaâ€™s carbon pollution is high because â€¦â€ (p5) â€“ the explanation completely ignores Australiaâ€™s huge exported GHG pollution that (in Mt CO2-e) was 522/1,102 = 47.4% of the total in 2000, and 815/1,415 = 57.6% of the total in 2009 and is predicted to be 1,182/1,803 = 65.6% of the total in 2020. An immense lying by omission.
7. â€œThe Australian Government has a comprehensive plan to build a clean energy future ..â€ (p5) â€“ but in detailing the plan no mention is made of Australiaâ€™s huge and expanding Exported GHG pollution (see point #6 above) or the $12 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel burning in Australia (see ACF, â€œAustralia spends $11 billion more on encouraging pollution than on cleaning it upâ€, 1 March 2011). If the Gillard Labor were serious about â€œtackling climate changeâ€ it would immediately cancel fossil fuel export licences and cease subsidies for fossil fuel â€“ but of course it wonâ€™t because, as the Australian Treasury analysis reveals, it has no intention of â€œtackling climate changeâ€.
8. â€œThe Government has set a further target of cutting pollution to 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050â€ (p5) â€“ yet this assertion ignores the enormous growth in Exported GHG pollution from coal exports (growing at 2.6% yearly) and LNG exports (growing at 9% yearly) (see ABARE estimations: Australian energy, National and state projections to 2029-30, ABARE Research Report 06.26). Further, the Australian Government has lied about cutting GHG pollution by 2020 â€“ in fact Australiaâ€™s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution will DOUBLE in 2020 relative to that in 2000. Quadruple by 2040?
9. â€œExperts say the Governmentâ€™s plan to move to a clean energy future will: - significantly cut pollutionâ€ (p6) â€“ but not according to the data from the Treasury , ABARE and the UDS EIA experts which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner?
10. â€œA carbon price is the cheapest and most effective way to cut pollution. Economic experts around the world recognize that putting a price on carbon is the most environmentally effective and cheapest way to cut pollutionâ€ (p6) - but not according to the data from the Treasury , ABARE and the US EIA experts which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner? Further, top climate scientists and economists have slammed the ETS as empirically ineffective, disastrously counterproductive and utterly fraudulent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (Source).
11. â€œThe initial price for these permits will be $23 per tonneâ€ (p7) â€“ per tonne carbon one supposes was meant in this scientifically illiterate document. However what will be the concrete outcome of this carbon price in terms of GHG pollution? As outlined above, according to the Treasury modeling the Plan will simply DOUBLE Australiaâ€™s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution (a bad outcome). According to the Labor Government the carbon price will promote a shift from coal burning to gas burning for electricity. However in Australia a coal to gas transition will double power sector-derived GHG pollution because methane leaks at about 3.3% and is 105 times worse than CO2 as a GHG on a 20 year timeframe with aerosol impacts included (a bad outcome). According to Beyond Zero Emissions a carbon price of about $70 per tonne carbon is required to promote wind energy and circa $200 per tonne carbon is required to promote uptake of concentrated solar thermal energy i.e. the $23 per tonne carbon will scupper 100% renewable energy by 2020 and promote a counterproductive coal to gas transition (a bad outcome).
12. â€œThe economy will continue to grow as Australia embraces a clean energy futureâ€ (p7) â€“ however the carbon pollution intensity of the economy will also grow with a shift from coal to the even more GHG-polluting gas (see point #11 above) and as GHG pollution from fossil fuel exports increase as a percentage of total GHG pollution from 47.4% (2000) and 57.6% (2009) to 65.6% (2020) (see point #6 above).
13. â€œTreasury modelling estimates that under a carbon price average incomes grow stronglyâ€ (p7) â€“ but so too does Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution from 1,102 Mt CO2-e (2000) and 1,415 Mt CO2-e (2009) to 1,803 Mt CO2-e (2020).
14. â€œThe carbon price will be paid by around 500 of Australiaâ€™s largest pollutersâ€ (p8) â€“ this is an admission of profound dishonesty and offensive discrimination by the anti-science Australian Labor Government which proposes selectively taxing particular industries while ignoring Australiaâ€™s huge GHG pollution from deforestation, livestock production and fossil fuel exports.
15. â€œMillions of households will be better offâ€ (p9) and â€œTax cuts for millions of peopleâ€ (p11) â€“ half of â€œWhat a carbon price means for youâ€ is devoted to shameless and dishonest appeal to the pecuniary greed of ordinary Australians. However what the document does not reveal is that the government will be giving with one hand and taking with the other. The revenue is expected to be $8 -$9 billion pa to 2014-2015 and fuel tax savings when implemented will save $0.6 billion pa. Household assistance will cost $4-$5 billion pa and industry assistance will cost about $3 billion pa. However a further $1 billion pa is required from general taxation-derived revenue to pay for the package. Out of this about $2 billion will go to fund renewable energy (for a detailed analysis see â€œAustraliaâ€™s outrageously deficient carbon tax entrenches climate change inactionâ€, Green Blog, 12 July 2011).The document ignores $12 billion per year Government subsidies for fossil fuel burning that will largely remain untouched and ignores the huge cost to ordinary Australians (especially the young) from climate change inaction entrenched by the Labor Governments plan.
16. â€œPeople with essential equipment needs [will be helped] â€ (p15) â€“ this ignores the horrendous human cost of carbon burning in Australia. How many Australians die each year from the effects of pollutants from vehicles, coal burning for electricity and other carbon burning? Answer: about 2,200, 4,600 and 2,800, respectively. At a "value of a statistical life" (VOSL) of $7.6 million per person ($73 billion pa for Australian carbon burning-related deaths) and $9 billion pa in fossil fuel subsidies, the minimum Carbon Price to cover carbon burning-derived deaths and carbon burning subsidies is $554 per tonne of carbon as compared to the best political offer yet of $20 per tonne of carbon (see â€œAustralian carbon-burning â€“related deaths and carbon burning subsidies => minimum carbon price of $544 per tonne carbonâ€, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group).
17. Completely missing from this profoundly flawed and dishonest document is any mention of: population (set to double in 20 years in the State of Victoria according to the Victorian State Labor Governmentâ€™s 2010 White Paper); gas ( yet a coal to gas transition favoured by the Labor Government will effectively DOUBLE electricity sector GHG pollution); fossil fuel exports ( the GHG pollution from fossil fuel exports is currently over 58% of total GHG pollution); existing reverse carbon taxes ($12 billion per annum in subsidies for fossil fuel burning i.e. taxes on taxpayers on behalf of polluters); Australian deaths from fossil fuel and carbon burning (an estimated about 10,000 such deaths per annum); worsening climate genocide (10 billion people to die this century due to unaddressed , man-made climate change with Australia disproportionately complicit); and how Australia has ALREADY used up its â€œfair shareâ€ of the terminal 600 Gt CO2 global GHG pollution budget between 2010 and zero emissions in 2050.
This is a profoundly dishonest, counterproductive and damaging proposal that fails to seriously tackle man-made climate change and indeed entrenches climate change inaction in disproportionately polluting, climate criminal Australia. Laborâ€™s Carbon Tax-ETS-Ignore Agriculture (CTETSIA) plan entrenches climate change inaction while dishonestly pretending to do otherwise. Thus Laborâ€™s CTETSIA plan will: promote a disastrous coal to gas transition (that will double power sector-derived GHG pollution because methane leaks at about 3.3% and is 105 times worse than CO2 as a GHG on a 20 year timeframe with aerosol impacts included); scupper science-demanded 100% renewable energy by 2020; institute an empirically ineffective, disastrously counterproductive and utterly fraudulent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS); and ignore agriculture (yet World Bank experts have recently determined that GHG pollution is 50% bigger than hitherto thought and that livestock production alone contributes over 51% of the bigger figure).
The Coalition greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution policy is essentially the SAME as that of the Labor Government, specifically â€œ5% off 2000 Domestic GHG pollution by 2020â€ coupled with unconstrained, unlimited, burgeoning, world-leading coal and liquid natural gas (LNG) Exports. In contrast to the Labor Government, the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Opposition has a Direct Action Plan that involves Government savings-funded action involving re-afforestation, biochar and lower emissions technology and costing about $1 billion pa to achieve the same derisory â€œ5% of 2000 GHG by 2020â€ goal of the Labor Government . The Coalition proposal has the benefits that it does not damage Australian industry and does not entrench climate change inaction (the Coalition scheme can be readily ramped up if needed â€“ and of course, massive ramping up is needed).
The Australian Labor Governmentâ€™s 20 page booklet called â€œWhat a carbon price means for you. The pathway to a clean energy futureâ€ dishonestly claims that the Gillard Labor Government is â€œtackling climate changeâ€ whereas the opposite is patently true Treasury analysis of the Labor CTETSIA plan reveals that the pro-oil, pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-war, anti-environment and anti-science Australian Labor Government has no intention of â€˜â€tackling climate changeâ€ while dishonestly pretending otherwise. The taxpayer-funded document is being sent to all households in Australia but has a major lie of omission or commission on nearly every page. Australian taxpayers should be enraged over their having to pay for being lied to by omission and commission and over their children being lied to in a process of massive, nation-wide, taxpayer-funded intellectual child abuse.
While the pro-war, pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-oil, anti-environment, anti-science, neocon Australian Lib-Labs (Liberal â€“National Party Coalition Opposition and Labor Party Government) are committed to fossil fuel burning and fossil fuel exports, the rest of the world must act promptly to stop this climate criminality by Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs, Sporting Boycotts (including Olympic and cricket and football World Cup exclusions), International Court of Justice litigations and International Criminal Court prosecutions. The World must stop the Australian climate criminals who are threatening both Australia and the World.