Letter to Clive Palmer: The right thing on Emissions Trading Scheme

4 Jul
Image of Al Gore and Clive Palmer [Photo: AAP]

Date: 04th July 2014

Dear Senators Clive Palmer, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, and Dio Wang,

I attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training in Melbourne last week. Along with the 500+ participants of the event, I join Al Gore in welcoming Clive Palmer’s announcement that the Palmer United party will keep the Renewable Energy Target unchanged and vote to preserve the Climate Change Authority and Clean Energy Finance Corporation in the new Senate.

I am writing to all of the Clive Palmer United Senators to urge you to bring forward the existing Emissions Trading Scheme which has already been hammered out as part of the carbon pricing mechanism in Australia. Carbon pricing is already delivering reduced emissions and stimulating efficiency and renewable generation. The Emissions Trading Scheme is already scheduled to commence in July 2015 and I urge you to move for its introduction to be brought forward to 2014. What is needed by my business, our clients and the clean industries of Australia is leadership on carbon pricing, not a huge backwards step to a zero carbon price. My business has assisted many companies to implement energy efficiency and solar photovoltaic systems, supported by the Clean Technology Innovation Program, funded by the Carbon Tax. Just take a look at the number of successful projects funded through Ausindustry to see how beneficial the Carbon Tax revenue has already proven to manufacturers and food business in this country.

Repealing the carbon tax along with its associated emissions trading scheme would be a travesty for Australian climate policy. Clive Palmer spoke last week about leadership on climate change and the importance of action. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel; the massive public consultation process already conducted by the previous government has resulted in the economically optimum carbon pricing policy which is already in place. It is time to bring the introduction of the ETS forward to 2014.

There is no merit in waiting for international action before pricing carbon pollution, our major trading partners are already acting. As Al Gore recently explained in Canberra and Melbourne, China and the USA have regulated major action and Europe continues to do so. The world is putting a price on carbon, Australia should keep a price on carbon not remove it.  Analysis such as Peter Christoff’s “Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a Hot World” demonstrates that conditional offers to cut emissions do not achieve results. What achieves results is taking decisive action. Australia has already legislated an Emissions Trading Scheme and should be proud to retain it and enhance it.

Please ensure that the Emissions Trading Scheme, as already incorporated into existing legislation, is retained next week and do not let the carbon price drop to zero. Bring forward the introduction of the ETS to 2014.

We do not have years to waste. A scrapping of the existing scheme and re-introduction of a new proposal, for the same Emissions Trading structure we already have, would be a major backwards step at a time when the rest of the world is moving forward.


Demian Natakhan

Director, Enhar Pty Ltd