Backwards Australians on carbon pricing

Source: AFP

Tony Abbot has fulfilled his campaign promised and repealed Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism (CPM). What his Coalition Party has misnamed a ‘carbon tax’  and made a political football. The cost to the climate will be paid by future generations, including Australians. It takes a huge step backward for Australia doing its fair share. A sad day for the climate. The ‘carbon tax’ was in fact a very well-designed emissions trading scheme, which in its first phase had fixed prices. New… Read moreBackwards Australians on carbon pricing

IRP update makes a step-change to informed decision-making

The 2013 update of IRP 2010 is very good technically – and more than that. In several respects, I think it is a significant improvement on the previous electricity plan, moving from presenting a single ‘preferred plan’ to decision-making under uncertainty. Nuclear and concentrating solar power (CSP) are to be reconsidered, in relation to actual demand, shale gas and cost (a threshold for nuclear, and learning for CSP). To explain which document I’m referring to: The Integrated Electricity Plan (IRP… Read moreIRP update makes a step-change to informed decision-making

Why should we price carbon?

(part 1: why a carbon tax?) After several years of discussion and an initial document dating back to 2010, the National Treasury’s Carbon Tax Policy Paper was finally released for public comment in May 2013. Since then, debate over both the efficacy and prudence of pricing carbon in the South African economy has dominated in the media, with many commentators arguing that the tax will kill industry or cost jobs. We think this discussion has become divorced from the realities… Read moreWhy should we price carbon?

Proposed carbon tax rate for SA too low, say researchers

THE effective rate for the carbon tax to be introduced by January 2015 is too low and the proposed design is complex and not easy to understand, says the Energy Research Centre of the University of Cape Town. In comments on the Treasury’s policy paper issued earlier this year, the centre calls for a simpler tax, but applied at the absolute level of R120 per metric tonne on 40% of carbon tax emissions, rather than the proposed minimum of R48… Read moreProposed carbon tax rate for SA too low, say researchers

C-tax 2013 – a bit later, but broader and for sure?

An initial assessment of Minister Gordhan’s budget speech for 2013 suggests that the carbon tax proposal has been deferred. It has not been dropped, but a definite date set – for 1 January 2015. Last year, the Minister proposed a similar tax for the 2013/14 financial year, this year he indicates it should come into effect on 1 January 2015 – a more precise date. The Minister has also given his department, Treasury, a deadline to release an “updated carbon… Read moreC-tax 2013 – a bit later, but broader and for sure?

Reflections on pricing carbon in Australia and South Africa

A trip to Australia to look at their carbon pricing mechanism (CPM) and related institutions and initiatives prompted some reflections on what might be possible in South Africa.[1]  The CPM is the centre-piece of climate policy led by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). Overall impressions Before digging into the details, my overall impression: There is an impressive set of institutions and people in Australia, ready to implement the CPM, meet the renewable energy target (20% of… Read moreReflections on pricing carbon in Australia and South Africa

Carbon tax – a slow start and then?

The Finance Minister’s budget speech gave little detail of the carbon tax, although Pravin Gordhan did say it will be implemented in the next financial year, i.e. 2013/14. The outlines are sketchy, but it seems the tax will not be as high as it sounds due to exemptions, and rise only slowly in the next seven years. Some more  detailed design elements are in the Budget Review,   Surprisingly this comes ahead of a more detailed tax design document which… Read moreCarbon tax – a slow start and then?