Meanwhile, our major trading partner, China, looks like showing Australians (and Copenhagen) what is needed to reduce carbon emissions. The New York Times reports that although China took over from the US as the main carbon emitter in 2007, China has approached carbon reduction using a three pronged attack and it’s starting to show results.
The first prong of the China carbon reduction plan is to use nuclear energy. On the basis of current technology, including waste management, nuclear is an attractive option which is why the world wants our uranium. Australia sells the world huge tonnages of uranium, but we don’t use it ourselves to cut carbon. The popular Australian jokes in Asia haven’t cottoned onto this yet but they will.
China is also going all out for wind generation. In this area Australia is on the same path. And thirdly China is really working on making itself more energy efficient.
Australia (and the US) can reduce carbon emissions quickly via coal gas but because carbon reduction has degenerated into an political play-thing we have not taken clear steps.
And Europe has discovered the carbon reduction advantages of Ceramic Fuel’s household generators, which are based on gas. Again, Australia sticks to the same old rhetoric.
What we are looking to do is introduce what Geoff Carmody describes as a “GST from hell”. We plan to make exporters buy carbon permits which are simply a tax and we will allow imports in without taxation.