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Carbon Tax - A black hole into which money will be poured

Australia faces possibility of a carbon tax with feisty debate.

Previous news item.

Wind farm statistics and financial matters.

It is interesting that in Australia there is very heated debate about a proposed carbon tax, whilst in the UK there was virtually no debate about the Climate Change Bill or the recently imposed changes to our own carbon tax. Their big worry is that it will make their industry less competitive while having no impact on climate change.

An interview by Adrian Bolt on the Steve Price Show of  Jill Duggan revealed some serious issues with the lack of clarity behind the system being implemented in the UK. Jill Duggan , European Commission Directorate General of Climate Action, exposed her ignorance when challenged about the costs and benefits of Britain’s rush to a ‘green’ economy.


To listen click here.

To read a transcript click here.

To read Jill Duggan’s cv click here

You have to hand it to the Australians - they know how to conduct a civilised interview and get to the crux of the problem.

AB: Can I just ask; your target is to cut Europe’s emissions by 20% by 2020?

JD: Yes.

AB: Can you tell me how much - to the nearest billions - is that going to cost Europe do you think?

JD: No, I can’t tell you but I do know that the modelling shows that it’s cheaper to start earlier rather than later, so it’s cheaper to do it now rather than put off action.

AB: Right. You wouldn’t quarrel with Professor Richard Tol - who’s not a climate sceptic - but is professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin? He values it at about $250 billion. You wouldn’t quarrel with that?

JD: I probably would actually. I mean, I don’t know. It’s very, very difficult to quantify. You get different changes, don’t you? And one of the things that’s happening in Europe now is that many governments - such as the UK government and the German government - would like the targets to be tougher because they see it as a real stimulus to the economy.

AB: Right. Well you don’t know but you think it isn’t $250 billion.

JD: I think you could get lots of different academics coming up with lots of different figures.

AB: That’s right. You don’t know but that’s the figure that I’ve got in front of me. For that investment. Or for whatever the investment is. What’s your estimation of how much - because the object ultimately of course is to lower the world’s temperatures - what sort of temperature reduction do you imagine from that kind of investment?

JD: Well, what we do know is that to have an evens chance of keeping temperature increases globally to 2°C - so that’s increases - you’ve got to reduce emissions globally by 50% by 2050.

AB: Yes, I accept that, but from the $250 billion - or whatever you think the figure is - what do you think Europe can achieve with this 20% reduction in terms of cutting the world’s temperature? Because that’s, in fact, what’s necessary. What do you think the temperature reduction will be?

JD: Well, obviously, Europe accounts for 14% of global emissions. It’s 500 or 550 million people. On its own it cannot do that. That is absolutely clear.

AB: Have you got a figure in your mind? You don’t know the cost. Do you know the result?