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Postpone carbon tax
letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 24 January 2012

With three failed international conferences, columnist Mark Lawson correctly points to the difficulty of reaching a binding international agreement on reducing CO2 emissions, leaving Australia as the sole imposer of a widely based carbon tax (“Carbon tax fails the economic test”, Talking Point, January 23). This surely calls for a change in this policy before its starting point in July.

The failed conferences since the 2007 report of the International Panel on Climate Change mean that the case advanced for urgent international action is no longer receiving support and, contrary to the government’s argument, action by Australia will not lead the way.

This view is supported by the absence of any significant change in temperatures over the past ten years despite the increase in emissions and the world’s similar experience from about the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s.

Indeed, as Lawson also points out, there is now much questioning of the modelling of higher temperatures. Predictions based on IPCC modelling have shown wide errors and a failure to take account of likely cooling feedback effects from clouds and water vapour.

In these circumstances there is a strong case for at least postponing the introduction of a carbon tax.

Des Moore
Director, Institute for Private Enterprise
South Yarra Vic

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