30 November 2009

Australia's Climate Policy

I've been waiting a few months to finish up an analysis of the implications of the proposed Australian ETS for the decarbonization of Australia's economy (along the lines of my UK and Japan case studies) so I can that submit it for publication. The analysis is pretty much done, but it would be nice to have at least some stability in the politics before putting it out. It is as if the Australian government has no concern about the needs of my academic publication schedule.

Anyway, there are huge goings on down under today (here and here). The opposition Liberal Party has seen a revolt and a new leader voted in in circumstances of high drama -- by just one vote, apparently a "donkey vote" at that (FYI, that is Tony Abbott, new Liberal leader in the photo above, just after the vote). This leadership election was immediately followed by a vote on the ETS, which the Liberal Party voted convincingly to oppose the legislation. What this means for Australian climate policy is unclear, at least to me, as it appears to imply either a deferral in the ETS vote until February or it being voted down in the near term. If the latter then Prime Minister Rudd would be empowered to call a rare double dissolution election, which opinion polls suggest Labor would win convincingly. I haven't yet considered the broader implications for cap and trade in the US or Copenhagen/Mexico City.

All of this is to say, that my paper analyzing Australian decarbonization policy won't be finished up for a few more weeks yet, at the very least. Anyone wanting a draft copy can email me at pielke@colorado.edu. I'd welcome the commentary from our Aussie readers in the comments, especially expert perspectives.