Cap and Trade De Ja Vu

April 27, 2010 | Yael Borofsky,

The U.S. Senate isn't alone in putting the breaks on cap and trade legislation plans. Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has also "put its carbon emissions trading plan on hold," until the end of 2012 according to the New York Times.

Some analysts believe the government's decision was a tactical one. Though Mr. Rudd's approval ratings remain strong, recent polls have suggested that climate change is becoming less important to an electorate that has shifted its focus to education and health care reform, skyrocketing housing costs and immigration. National elections are due this year.

Of course the delay may be for the best considering this analysis from the Grattan Institute, an independent think tank:

According to Crikey:

Grattan Institute CEO, John Daley, took that statement even further on ABC radio this morning, telling AM that:
"actually the worst thing that we could do is to implement a carbon pricing scheme that played off those fears to provide a large quantity of industry assistance that is not necessary, that's going to cost the rest of the Australian taxpayers a lot of money and which, worst of all, is probably going to slow adjustment of the economy towards lower carbon emissions."

Looks like Australia needs a Plan B, too.

Stay tuned for a forthcoming update from our Australia correspondent, Leigh Ewbank. For more information, read Breakthrough Senior Fellow Roger Pielke Jr.'s post, "Australia Shelves Emissions Trading Plan Until 2013."