Federal cabinet has ruled that Australia will not sign up to any new contributions, taxes or charges at this week’s global summit on climate change, in a significant toughening of its stance as it plans to move within days to repeal the carbon tax.
Cabinet ministers have decided to reject any measures of “socialism masquerading as environmentalism” after meeting last week to consider a submission on the position the government would take to the Warsaw conference. …
The Australian has seen part of the document and it declares that, while Australia will remain “a good international citizen” and remains “committed to achieving the 5 per cent reduction” by 2020 of the 2000 levels of emissions, it will not sign up to any new agreement that involves spending money or levying taxes. …
The decision hardens the nation’s approach to the UN’s negotiations amid a renewed push from less-developed countries this week for $100 billion a year in finance to deal with climate change.
That money quote is from the government’s official pre-conference position-outlining document, by the way. Boom.
The Australians did leave the door open to reviewing their “commitment in 2015 in light of the science and international developments,” but only if all other major economies make the same level of commitment — but they don’t really expect that to happen, and caution that their future spending and commitments on reducing carbon emissions will be conditional upon “fiscal circumstances.”
As I mentioned last week, even the European Union is reevaluating their various countries’ commitments to pursuing renewables subsidies in light of continuing economic struggles, expensive power bills, and malingering debt problems. It’s kind of bizarre how relentlessly subsidizing noncompetitive products and technologies always seems like a great idea, until fiscal reality and economic backlash lead to a policy retrenchment and suddenly those technologies don’t have the price efficiency or innovative chutzpah to continue to thrive on their own — no?