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Carbon tax is a phony proposal

Posted by Secular on July 12, 2011

by Dr John L Perkins

The Gillard government has finally unveiled its carbon tax plan — but does it deliver on its supposed goal of tackling climate change? John Perkins, Senior Economist at the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, takes a hard look at Labor’s strategy, and finds it wanting.

The government’s carbon tax proposals are a step forward, but as such will do little to reduce our emissions. A tax of $23 will only cause a small shift from coal to gas-fired electricity generation. For so-called emissions reductions, the proposals rely on us buying possibly phony credits from other countries that undertake to preserve their rainforests.

We would achieve more by scrapping the plans for a trading scheme and just having a carbon tax. This needs to ramp up to much higher levels in order to justify major investment in alternative energy.

Meanwhile, we continue to overlook the elephant in the room, which is our coal exports. In its full page advertisements, the Coal Association is attempting to erect a smokescreen. The 250 million tonnes of coal that we export will produce 750 million tonnes of carbon dioxide when burnt, which is far more than all our other emissions, and is not subject to any tax.

If we were to join together with Indonesia and South Africa to impose an export tax, which would then apply to the bulk of the world’s coal exports, this would be a more effective way of reducing global emissions, while protecting our coal industry at the same time.


John Perkins is an economist specialising in global warming models. He is the President and a founding member of the Secular Party of Australia, and is also a long-standing member of numerous rationalist and humanist societies, contributing regularly to free thought magazines. His interests include long-term global models of world trade and income, with particular application to income distribution, trade policy, resource depletion and global warming issues. His expertise is in statistical analysis, mathematical modelling and software development.

© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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One Response to “Carbon tax is a phony proposal”

  1. rogerb said

    Concise and logical thoughts, thankyou! These are 2 traits sadly absent from the current Abbott / Gillard / Brown advocacy on this issue…

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