BY Cindy O’Connor Today is the second day of carbon pricing in Australia. Conservatives and corporates threatened everyone that it would be the end of the world. It isn’t! How can a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit be achieved? We need t …

Andrew Oceania, Ecology

BY Cindy O’Connor

Today is the second day of carbon pricing in Australia. Conservatives and corporates threatened everyone that it would be the end of the world. It isn’t!

How can a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit be achieved? We need to have a plan. Why?

  • We are highest emitter of greenhouses gases per capita in the world!
  • It’s time to reduce emissions.
  • Innovation in clean tech is happening from Germany to China

It isn’t a greenie, enviro pet project. This is a serious economic issue. How we manage carbon has an impact on our jobs, our dollar and our balance of trade. Ross Garnaut an Economics Professor of University of Melbourne undertook The Garnaut Review for our government in 2008. He found that carbon pricing:

  • will make some jobs more secure
  • is economically efficient
  • is a low cost way to reduce emissions
  • can be collected by making Top 500 polluting businesses pay
  • can compensate Households and consumers for small rises in electricity being passed on, and
  • is a market mechanism that makes business find way to reduce costs.

What next?


We are a carbon intensive economy. We need to put  effort into a range of technologies, new tech, no shortcuts. We need to find cost effective and safe solutions. Our Treasury is modeling  carbon capture and storage and alternatives. Coal is our second biggest industry so we need carbon capture and storage. We need to commercialize technology to capture and re use emissions to power manufacturing processes.

Can we do it?

California’s scheme begins in 2013.  China is appropriating funds for renewable tech and piloting schemes of carbon pricing.  Germany is using eight different forms of renewable technology see here

What’s in it for workers?

We can calculate our tax relief on the carbon price calculator here.

We can ask the outreach officer from The Climate Institute for advice: Linda Cargill at lcargill@climateinstitute.org.au

We don’t expect the 500 biggest polluters to stop the scare campaign but we can educate ourselves and our comrades about the real impact on our jobs. The bosses hate paying taxes. Carbon pricing makes them pay their share and not just dump all the costs on workers.

Nicholas Stern of The London School of Economics said:
“There are also significant economic opportunities associated with moving to low-carbon growth, particularly of being at the forefront of a new energy and industrial revolution that is already taking off.” (Read more here)

We would love to hear about clean tech, alternative tech from usilive sisters n brothers.

Cindy is writing in a personal capacity but works for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union and has a twitter account @cindersawol.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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