Get ready. The legislation was done on the last day Parliament sat in December. The Coalition government knew it would be popular with the voters who all want “carbon action” so they… buried the news. No cheering. No speeches. …
It’s a Cap N Trade system with “Caps” that can be screwed gently down
as the climate warmsto fill government coffers and raise electricity prices. The Direct Action plan auctions can be phased out and the SneakTax phased in. It could end up being the main game. A blank cheque.
It’s called “Safeguard” — it was safe for politicians and guards them against their failure to meet pointless, symbolic international agreements to slow storms. A Safeguard for politicians but a SneakTax for the people.
Alan Kohler in The Australian:
From July 1, coincidentally the day before the election, the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” within its Direct Action Plan will come into force.
One-hundred and fifty companies, representing about 50 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, will be capped by legislation at their highest level of emissions between 2009-10 and 2013-14.
If they emit less than their caps, they will get credits, called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which were created by the Gillard government’s 2011 legislation; if they emit more, they have to buy ACCUs on the market.
The caps specifically include the electricity sector and the ACCUs are “financial products” under both the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, and can be traded, so an ETS market will be established from July 1.
Naturally Greg Hunt, the Environment Minister, denies it is “an ETS”, but that’s just semantics. It is typical of the modern bureaucratic elite to use semantics to confuse and deny. It’s a tax on carbon emissions that isn’t “a carbon tax” or “an ETS.” Whatever.