BAU is the easier option for farmers going broke slowly

Today, something was said that resonates the importance of community consultations. The importance is that policy makers must understand that something good in the office is not always good for the target. In a story printed by ABC News 4 July 2012,  “Pastoralists say comments by the Federal Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, show he has no idea about the implications the carbon tax will have on their livelihood”.

Previously CO2Land org argued that the program options for landholders were CFI, BF and BAU. What was not clearly explained was that BAU is the easier option for farmers going broke slowly. It simply means farmers might not have an adequate succession plan in place to take advantage of the biodiversity fund (BF), and might prefer to wait for family or new owners to make decisions for CFI involvement. The crux of the problem is the individuals costs associated with bringing about change is greater than the immediate benefit.

In the ABC story, Mr Combet (Minister for Climate Change) said “that farmers are entitled to pass increased costs associated with their tax onto their customers”, and “The WA Pastoralists and Graziers Association’s Rob Gillam says that is impossible….Quite simply, farmers are price takers; we’re in a very, very weak position when it comes to stipulating the price,” he said…”We’ve always been price takers and not price makers and as much as we would like to receive more for our products there’s no way we can enforce it.”

CO2Land org gives Mr Gillam a hat tip (HT in twitter land) where he correctly says pastoralists are hit hard by the carbon tax and they are secondary recipients of the costing”. In logical assessment it is clear not paying attention to going broke slowly will be counter productive to the CFI intention and any kudos expected by ‘good policy’ will not accrue to any political party that cannot recognize the problem.

Carbon Management – despite the storm of words

The differences between the parties of politics in Australia are centered around the carbon price mechanism. However, the parties share their support for putting in place approaches to carbon management.

In the story “Tax furore hides much furious agreement”, Andrew Ure wrote “he makes an issue of how Australians would be forgiven for being a little lost in the carbon tax introduction and the storm of words”. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/tax-furore-hides-much-furious-agreement-20120702-21d4c.html#ixzz1zb5R3I5L

CO2Land org looks closely at where there is general agreement by our political parties that climate change is real, and notes:

  • Unconditional commitment to reduce Australia’s emissions by the same amount (5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020).
  • Agree on a minimum undertaking of the scale of emissions reductions that Australia should endevour upon.
  • Agree that there is a degree of climate change action that Australia should take forward.
  • Furious agreement that Australia should encourage the development of the renewable energy sector through promoting a renewable energy target, and they even agree on the amount: 20 per cent of Australia’s energy supply should come from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Energy Efficiency programs will remain in focus regardless of who is in power
  • Land management is in agreement for support, however the estimates of the potential of reducing emissions from farming and forestry vary, but all agree the reductions potential is very significant.
  • Although they have the same objective and hence the same program type but called differently: The government’s contracts for closure program and the coalition’s emissions reductions fund is seeking to support the closure of inefficient power stations.

Being that the coalition are on record as saying estimates that soil carbon measures could represent 85 million tonnes of annual CO2 abatement potential we can take this as agreement the government’s carbon farming initiative is the safest part of the government’s Clean Energy Future package. Albeit we will hear more of the slant to be tested based on the direct action plan.

CO2Land org is of the view we should not let the arguments get dull or fade away, even the minor differences present significant opportunity to do better and more is best for climate change action. Viva la differences and the nuance to maneuver to our special place – sustainable living.