Climate Phoenix: a Sustainable Australian Climate Policy

Grattan Institute

[Sydney Morning Herald]  A bipartisan approach to tackling climate change is still possible if Labor and the Coalition can get past their “policy bonfire” and develop existing mechanisms to curb carbon emissions, a Grattan Institute report finds.

While an economy-wide carbon price remains “the ideal preferred future climate policy”, the political reality excludes that prospect winning bipartisan support for now.

Still, sufficient flexibility exists within the major parties’ platforms that a “sustainable policy phoenix can yet arise”, the report argues.

The longer big parties threaten to dismantle their opponent’s policy once in office, the less likely companies will have the confidence to fund long-term investments in low-emissions technology, making it harder for Australia to meet its carbon goals…

Common ground to build on includes the remaining bipartisan goal to meet a 5 per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2020. That target is likely to be reached in part because of favourable accounting but also because of some success in the government’s purchase of emissions reductions, cheaper than the carbon tax, he said.

Beyond 2020, however, the Coalition’s policies are unlikely to set Australia on track to meet its commitment to cut 2005 level emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030…


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