Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dear Senator Lieberman, Carbon Trade: Garnaut warns of fixers

This fellow is the lead consultant to the very pro-carbon trade Australian government. I was a bit surprised by the frankness.
From The Australian:

AUSTRALIA'S risk in combating climate change lies in a revival of rent-seekers, political lobbyists and sectional manipulators who hurt our economy for most of the past century, government adviser Ross Garnaut warned last night.

...In his dinner speech to The Australian-Melbourne Institute economic and social conference, Professor Garnaut took aim at critics of his proposed emissions trading scheme, particularly those who want emissions permits issued for free.

"That approach would have government deciding which firms and which activities should be given permits to emit greenhouse gases," he said.

..."If this course were to be followed, managers would find it more rewarding to put pressure on government to secure emissions rights than to find and to apply low-emissions ways of going about their business.

...Professor Garnaut warned that some people saw climate change as the chance to "invite back into the centre of policy-making all of the rent-seeking interests that blighted our economic performance from the time of Federation to the 1980s".

His message was that nations could get their emissions trading schemes right or wrong with grave consequences.

An ETS was "a new market established by government decree" that relied upon government coercive powers.

As a result, "the rich possibilities for corruption of an ETS" had led many economists to favour a direct carbon tax that was transparent and "much less amenable to manipulation by private interests"....

A very straightforward explication.