High cost and nil environmental effect: that's our carbon tax

Greg Sheridan has a great piece in Saturday's The Australian (paywall protected) that is well worth a read.

Here's an extract:

ONE of the main reasons the Gillard government is so unsuccessful in selling its carbon tax is that its overall narrative is so utterly dishonest.

Here is the key example. The government and its countless, mostly paid, carbon tax spruikers would have you believe that the Australian carbon tax is in line with most international practice.

Here is a sharp reality check. Nowhere in the world, in any significant jurisdiction, is any carbon tax or market-based mechanism having a significant economic or environmental impact...

 I asked McKibbin whether any market-based system anywhere has produced any significant greenhouse gas abatement.

His reply: "Right now, no. The only evidence is in the models."

That's a very telling statement. No market mechanism has had any success in greenhouse gas abatement. The only evidence that it might have some success is in the modelling the various schemes' designers have contrived in their heads and on their computers.

McKibbin continues: "There is no evidence of substantial reductions in emissions through a market-based mechanism, nor any other mechanism really, except building nuclear power stations."
I put the same question to Nicholas Linacre, who now runs a consultancy in Washington. He was director of carbon markets in the Climate Change Department in Canberra until Kevin Rudd abandoned the proposed emissions trading scheme. He left the public service and went to Washington where last year he wrote the World Bank's official State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2011 report.

He told me he agrees with McKibbin's assessment: no existing market mechanism is having much effect anywhere.

Greg Sheridan concludes: "It is environmentally inconsequential, economically costly, administratively nightmarish and unlike anything else in the world. Policy folly that it is, the Gillard government would still have a better chance of selling it if it occasionally told the truth about it"

Try to read the whole thing.

(h/t Catallaxy Files)

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