Contrasting ‘firsts’

Not only are we the first country to remove a carbon price that is doing what it’s supposed to do by seeing emissions lowered by 10 per cent since its introduction, compensating our vulnerable members of society while costing a modest 9 per cent increase to an electricity bill.

But also we are replacing it with an untested new scheme that again, we are the first country to do so.

It is fitting that the particular week also marked the anniversary of John Howard floating the idea of an emissions trading scheme seven years ago and that now 36 countries have a national carbon pricing mechanism plus 23 states and territories in China, Japan, Canada and the United States.

That’s hardly going it alone.

But Howard was not the first, as both sides of politics have floated the idea of a an emissions trading scheme on separate occasions back in 1991, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005 and more recently by Kevin Rudd.

Just like a renewable energy target, a market-based ETS is an effective and cheaper way of reducing emissions to achieve our 5 per cent target.

As history and other countries have shown us, it will eventually be implemented on some level.

We can only hope common sense will again prevail for Australia’s sake and more broadly, for the world sooner rather than later.

R. MAZZILLI, Maylands