The following is an unpublished letter written to the editor of The Age on October 22, 2011.
Thanks for Paddy Manning’s article (Saturday Age 22/10 ) highlighting the problem caused by our coal exports and our efforts to try to curb our carbon dioxide emissions which does not appear to covered by the current legislation before the Senate.
As many commentators have pointed out climate change will not be mitigated without severe restrictions on the burning of coal and eventually its complete replacement with other energy sources.
Manning’s solution – a price on carbon at the point of extraction – is similar to the ‘fee and dividend’ proposal of James Hansen. The coal miners pay a ‘fee’ (equivalent to the ‘carbon tax’?) at the mine and the revenue collected is distributed to all citizens as a dividend.
Similarly products entering Australia with unfair advantage due to their country of origins having no financial mechanism to price carbon should be charged a similar ‘fee’ or ‘tariff’.
Perhaps the legislation before the upper house can be amended to cover this or it can be covered in a following piece of legislation.
Global Warming Action Party (Australia)