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$7b paid in carbon tax to reduce CO2 by 0.3% and cool us by zero degrees

Posted By Joanne Nova On February 6, 2014 @ 12:32 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

This news was so boringly predictable I almost didn’t post it, but numbers like this of actual outcomes of visionary Big-Government Experiments are hard to come by.

Seven billion dollars works out to $350 per person, and $1,350 per household of four, for one year. If Bill Shorten (leader of the opposition) had to knock on doors to collect this tax, there would be a riot in the street tomorrow.

The Australian reports that the $1,350 from your houseĀ for the year to Sept 2013, produced an emissions fall from 543.9 million tons all the way down to 542.1 .

National greenhouse accounts to be released today show carbon emissions fell just 0.3 per cent in the year to September 2013. This was despite the carbon tax raising $7 billion over the period.

But I hear some cry that it did help reduce emission from electricity:

The Department of Environment figures, obtained by The Australian, show electricity emissions fell 5.5 per cent or about 11 million tonnes in the year to September.

However virtually none of the 11 million tonnes “saved” had much to do with the carbon tax. About 5 million tons was due to reduced economic activity (arguably, thanks to the effect the Australian Labor Party had on the GDP, perhaps the most effective form of carbon reduction they “arranged”). The rest of the reduction in emissions from electricity came from extra production from the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme, and less production at the Yallourn Coal Plant in Victoria thanks to industrial action and flooding.

In any case, while electricity produced less CO2, the rest of the economy, mostly did not:

The Environment Department said the lower electricity emissions were driven by lower demand and changes in the generation mix. The figures show that overall emissions of greenhouse gas are largely unchanged since 2010. While emissions from electricity generation fell, emissions from stationary energy such as on-site power generation from industrial plants rose 1.7 per cent, emissions from transport rose 2 per cent and so-called fugitive emissions from mining activities rose 8.3 per cent.

Australia has one of the most aggressive carbon reduction schemes in the world. If it achieved anything at all, it was an accident. Sucking $7billion out of the economy may have helped reduced CO2, not through people using “clean” energy, but because it lowered Australia’s GDP. Businesses gave up trying to produce useful things, and spent more time filling in bits of paper.

Keep these numbers up your sleeve, for the next time someone says:

i) Australia is doing something about CO2 emissions. (Obviously, we are not.)

ii) The EU should raise the price of carbon. (Is $24 per ton high enough?)

iii) Wayne Swan was an award winning treasurer.

iv)…anything at all about Julia Gillard. (She should pay back every cent.)

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