Thursday, June 26, 2008

Climate change: still not a priority

Listening to the Business Statement, it seems the government won't be making any moves to pass the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill next week either. Which means they're beginning to run out of time. The first of their other high priority legislation - the Biofuel Bill - is already back from committee, and the rest is due back shortly. Which means that if it doesn't hurry up and cut a deal with the Greens, the government is soon going to have to choose between its competing priorities.

As Colin James pointed out in the Herald on Tuesday, this bill is too important to fail. And the consequences of failure would be an immediate increase in emissions of ~14 megatonnes - $350 million, at a carbon price of $25 / ton - as forest owners rush once again to convert land to dairy farms (a process which the bill has suddenly put a stop to). That's simply not something we can afford to happen, so the government had better get its act together ASAP.