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Published by the National Times.

The silver bullet view of carbon pricing is a common theme in Australian climate change policy debates. It is argued that by establishing domestic carbon price signals the nation will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and address the challenge of climate change. International examples of carbon pricing initiatives are often cited in these debates. Unfortunately, incomplete accounts of them hide important lessons for policymakers at home. A recent opinion piece by Dr Peter Wood and Paul Burke of the Australian National University is no exception.

Wood and Burke present several international cases where carbon pricing is now operating, or is on the cards, to make the case that Australia is behind many nations in adopting such measures. While this contention is correct, Wood and Burke do not consider whether the carbon pricing measures adopted abroad have been effective. They do not consider the initiatives that preceded carbon pricing proposals or the fact that carbon taxes are often used to generate revenue rather than creating a price signal for the private sector.

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Co-authored with Johanna Peace and Devon Swezey and published by the Breakthrough Institute and the Energy Collective.

It’s official: India won’t accept binding caps on its emissions of greenhouse gases. Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh made the case clear last Thursday:

“India will not accept any emission-reduction target–period,” Ramesh said. “This is a non-negotiable stand.”

India’s announcement is the latest frustrating news for those following the efforts of climate negotiators as they struggle to eke out an international agreement by this December’s UN summit in Copenhagen. It’s frustrating because the fundamental dissonance between what developed countries demand and what developing countries are willing to give appears to be the single most intractable roadblock standing in the way of a successful treaty. In fact, this very problem has impeded progress on international climate negotiations for decades.

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Published by the Breakthrough Generation.

A few weeks ago, the editors of The New Republic published ‘Nudge-ocracy’—an article discussing the Obama Administration’s early decisions and what these reveal about the Administration’s governing philosophy. The Obama Administration is still in its infancy and it’s too early to draw concrete conclusions about the Administrations approach. Nonetheless, Foer and Scheiber’s article provides a useful interpretive framework for the Administration’s climate and energy policy agenda.

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Leigh Ewbank


Climate and energy writer based in Melbourne, Australia.

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Creative Commons License All blogs presented on this site, therealewbank.wordpress.com, by Leigh Ewbank are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License
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