The Cost of Reducing Carbon Emissions

‘MORE than $5.5 billion has been spent by federal governments during the past decade on climate change programs that are delivering only small reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 

‘An analysis of government schemes designed to cut emissions by direct spending or regulatory intervention reveals they have cost an average $168 for each tonne of carbon dioxide abated.

‘While some have reduced emissions cost-effectively, many of the more expensive schemes are exorbitant ways of tackling climate change, costing far more for each tonne of carbon avoided than any mooted emissions trading scheme or carbon tax.

‘The worst offenders have included the Labor government’s rebates for rooftop solar panels, which cost $300 or more for every tonne of carbon abated, and the Howard government’s remote renewable power generation scheme, which paid up to $340 for each tonne of carbon.

‘By contrast, the proposed emissions trading scheme blocked by the Coalition and the Greens in the previous Parliament was expected to put a price on carbon of $20 to $25 a tonne in its early years…

Read more here: 

[Climate cash goes up in smoke, Mark Davis and Lenore Taylor, The Age]


8 Responses to The Cost of Reducing Carbon Emissions

  1. Neville February 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    While we silly fools are wasting all this money straight down the toilet Terry McCrann has this to say in todays Herald Sun—

    “For our carbon tax on its own will make four-fifths of five-eighths of very little difference to our local climate, far less the global climate in their absence.

    Worse, as Ergas points out, we will have reduced our ability both as an economy and as a nation to deal with disasters.

    And we come back to the basic lie and I have to believe also, plain stupidity of Gillard and Co, exemplified by her Climate Minister Greg Combet, that “they” are doing something about their emissions.

    Yes, China might be embarking on major investments in wind and solar power generation. But it’s continuing with even bigger investments in coal-fired generation.

    Between now and 2020 China is going to add between 400GW and 500GW to its existing 670GW of coal-fired power generation. That’s its own internal projections, endorsed by every competent external analyst.

    Total power generation in Australia is about 50GW.

    We have a Government and a Prime Minister determined to impoverish the nation rendering it less able to deal with the consequences of the climate change it hysterically believes is coming.”

  2. Neville February 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Gee are even some Labor premiers starting to doubt and perhaps starting to use their brains and understand the bloody obvious? Suddenly Keneally points to the risks involved in Gillard’s crazy stupidity.

  3. val majkus February 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    and here’s Tony’s comment on Bolt’s blog

    I always thought this was the reason that the Labor Government so desperately wanted to sell off those Power plants.

    Consider Bayswater alone.
    It consumes 8 Million tons of coal each and every year. Each ton of coal burned produces 2.86 (actual physical) tons of CO2, hence 23 Million tons of CO2 each year.
    At Ross Garnaut’s $26 per ton cost on that CO2, there is an added cost on the bottom line of $600 Million.

    There are 7 large coal fired plants in NSW. All up, these 7 burn 33.5 million tons of coal, producing 96 million tons of CO2, hence, at Garnaut’s $26, then the total comes to $2.5 Billion.

    The State Government who owns what was once called vital State infrastructure now sees them as an drain on the public purse if they are forced to foot the bill for those CO2 emissions.

    Now perhaps you gain some inkling as to why the State Government so desperately wants to get rid of them.

    And please don’t try and tell me that cost won’t be passed down directly to electricity consumers.

  4. cementafriend February 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    The argument about comparing the carbon tax with other methods of reducing CO2 emission is like a lady buying a haute courteur dress which has been reduced from $2000 to $200 (look at the big saving) when she really did not need another dress. Consider Imelda Marcos with all her shoes -did that help the Phillipines? Who benefits from a carbon tax – not the taxpayer. There is already excise taxes on petroleum products, royalties (based on profits) for oil and gas, royalties (which are moving to profit base) on coal. A carbon tax is just another layer of bureaucracy and an attempt to take taxing powers from the states. It is a pity that the states ever gave up income tax collection.
    In Switzerland the states collect all the taxes and hand a very small limited amount to the Federal government for defence, foreign policy and national coordination. The Swiss have had nuclear power generation for a long time (6 plants producing about 40% of their power)

  5. TonyfromOz February 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Let’s place a personal figure on it all.
    Oz currently burns 90 million tons of CO2.
    2.86 tons of CO2 for each ton of coal.
    Add on the CO2 from Natural gas fired power, and the total CO2 from electrical power generation alone comes to 300 million tons.
    Ross Garnaut’s figure is $26 per ton.
    The total comes in at $8 Billion.
    The residential sector consumes 38% of all electrical power.
    38% of $8 Billion is $3.04 Billion.
    There are 7.5 million residential consumers, hence that breaks down to a tick over $400 a year, and that’s an addition on top of the average bill, which is around $350 per quarter, so the extra is around $100 per quarterly account.
    For a more accurate idea, take out your current electricity account and add 30%.

    THAT is the personal residential cost of imposing a price on Carbon (Dioxide)

    As you live your everyday life, you are part and parcel of the other two electricity consuming areas, Commerce 37% and Industrial 24%.
    Their increased costs will also be passed down to consumers.
    That’s just for electrical power, which makes up one third of man made emissions.
    All those costs will be passed down to consumers as well.
    It will not lower CO2 emissions, because the CO2 content of the Atmosphere, 390PPM, or 0.039% of the total atmosphere will be the same in Sydney, New York, Beijing, Paris, Rio de Janeiro or Wagga Wagga.


  6. val majkus February 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I’m sure Luke will be excited about the possibility of increased power bills! and if he isn’t then he’s a hypocrit!

  7. val majkus February 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    a post by John Droz (from the US)
    John is a physicist (with energy expertise) and has been an environmental activist for over 25 years.

    He received undergraduate degrees in physics and math from Boston College, and a graduate degree in physics from Syracuse University. He is a participating member of several environmental organizations (like the Sierra Club, Adirondack Council, AfPA, RCPA).

    These two areas of interest and expertise have merged with his focus on energy matters, especially wind power.

    John’s basic position is that we should be taking aggressive measures to solve our energy and pollution issues, and should not be wasting time and money on illusionary solutions — which are primarily promoted by those with vested financial interests.

    His papers and presentations focus on getting citizens informed, doing critical thinking, and then insisting on their government representatives using scientific methodology regarding energy decisions.

    Electrical energy “renewables,” for instance, should not be given a free pass on scientific scrutiny. They should be substituted for conventional power sources, only after an objective, scientific evaluation proves that they: 1) make technical sense on the grid, 2) are financially viable on their own, and 3) are environmentally friendly.

    There’s a wealth of info in his posts

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