Carbon taxes and “Contraction and Convergence”

Source:  SPPI

by Dennis Ambler

Emissions trading schemes export jobs to developing countries.

The UK Guardian reports further loss of steel production in Teesside, North-East England and in Lincolnshire.

“Government talk of economic recovery was undermined on Friday when the country’s largest steel maker announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs in Lincolnshire and Teesside. Tata Steel, which bought the Corus business in 2007, blamed a continued slump in demand from the construction sector but also new climate change legislation for its decision.

Ben Caldecott, head of UK and EU policy at specialist investment house Climate Change Capital, said that although the carbon floor price would benefit investors in low-carbon generation, it did not give certainty because the level could be changed in future budgets. To give investors real certainty, he said, the level of tax should be guaranteed by long-term contracts.”

It is quite possible that Tata Steel may be able to claim more carbon credits under the European Emissions Trading Scheme and may also qualify for payments in India under the UN Clean Development Mechanism.

A description of a previous labor cut back by Tata Steel can be found here.

In the recent UK budget, plans for a jobs-killing carbon tax were announced:

UK Budget 2011: Carbon tax brings higher electricity bills ? and nuclear windfalls

Nuclear and renewable energy companies will scoop huge windfall profits after the government announced plans to raise £3.2bn by 2016 from a new carbon tax funded by higher electricity bills.

The chancellor announced a guaranteed minimum or “floor” price for carbon under Europe’s emissions trading scheme of £16 a tonne in 2013, rising to £30 by 2020. If the market price of carbon slumps, the Treasury’s tax will increase to make up the difference. The UK is the first country in the world to introduce such a mechanism to guarantee a price for carbon.”

The Minister for Energy and Climate Change in the UK is Mr Chris Huhne. He is a member of the UN High Level Climate Finance Panel, with, amongst others, George Soros, Lord Nicholas Stern, Ciao Koch-Weser of Deutsche Bank and French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, currently favourite to become the new head of the International Monetary Fund. They were tasked with finding policies to raise $100 billion per year to be used to help developing countries “cope with the impacts of human-induced Global Warming”, aka Climate Change.Here are some of their conclusions:

?The Advisory Group emphasized the importance of a carbon price in the range of US$20-US$25 per ton of CO2 equivalent in 2020 as a key element of reaching the US$100 billion per year. (It just so happens that at current exchange rates, the UK tax is $25 per ton).

Revenues from carbon taxes were also proposed based on a tax on carbon emissions in developed countries raised on a per-ton-emitted basis.

The higher the carbon price, the steeper the rise in available revenues and the stronger the mutual reinforcement of abatement potentials and different measures.?
Among the proposals put forward by the group were taxes on aviation jet fuel, airline passenger tickets, and “bunker fuel,” the heavy diesel fuel used by maritime shippers.”

Enviros? Bunk Crusade Against Bunker Fuel

“Bunker fuel, also known as navy special fuel, is the bottom-of-the-barrel (literally), high-viscosity fuel used by large cruise ships, container ships, and tankers that is just slightly less viscous than the bitumen (asphalt) used to pave roads. Environmentalists hate bunker fuel because sulfur dioxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are considerably more intense than those of the more refined and lighter gasoline and diesel.

European environmentalists rejoiced recently when they convinced the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations? maritime regulatory body, to ban ships using bunker fuel in the antarctic. The ban goes into effect in July. While there is very limited commercial shipping in the antarctic, this will effectively shut out many large cruise ships from these waters.

Not content with the southern pole, they moved next to try to push for an arctic ban on bunker fuel. Earlier this year, the enviros convinced the European Parliament to call on the IMO to impose a similar ban in the arctic, where there is a great deal of commercial shipping. But make no mistake: the radical environmental movement will not stop at the poles. They will not be satisfied until every port bans ships from using bunker fuel.

An EPA proposal to ban bunker fuel use within 200 nautical miles of the United States ? which would have purportedly conformed with potential future IMO regulations ? has yet to gain significant traction. But it will. The Gaia-worshipers have a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of hatred of humanity.”

Meanwhile in Australia, Viv Forbes of the Carbon Sense Coalition describes how the threat of an Australian carbon tax is influencing long term business decision making, as mining company Xstrata have announced that smelting and refining of Mount Isa copper is to be phased out.

“Wool and wheat, gold and silver, butter and cheese, copper and lead-zinc, leather and tallow, iron and steel, sugar and wine, coal and hydro-carbons, meat and mutton, aluminium and uranium, timber and fish, nickel and titanium ? these comprise Australia?s Magic Pudding.

But the Gillard/Green/Garnaut Carbon Tax Coalition hate our primary industries because they all depend on carbon fuels and produce the carbon dioxide that feeds our crops. Our backbone industries are seen as dreaded ?polluters? and treated like noxious weeds and serpents to be removed from the green Garden of Eden.”

This process of imposing “Low Carbon” energy on industrial nations is a major component of the UN policy known as Contraction and Convergence and it is happening now. Read more about it in this SPPI paper, Contraction and Convergence.

“We are entreated daily that the West must cut its industrial base because the planet is in danger from our CO2 emissions and our politicians happily fall into line to impose draconian energy taxes. There is somewhat of a disconnect when we read that industrialisation is proceeding apace in developing nations, with money from the industrialised nations. The announcement from Fiat, Italy, is another example of global corporations moving their operations to the developing world where they can emit to their heart’s content without penalty and get paid by us for doing so, with money we give to the UN for “development”.

The Obama administration is seeking to impose similar carbon tax policies in the US, by the EPA’s fraudulent use of the Clean Air Act, aided and abetted by their foot soldiers, the NGO’s. Next year is the fortieth anniversary of Maurice Strong’s first “Earth Summit” which led to the empowerment of the UN and the current embattled situation in which we find ourselves. Let us hope that we will by then have seen more resistance of the kind shown by the new Conservative government in Canada:

Conservatives kill carbon tax: OTTAWA May 19th 2011 , Sun News – Conservatives have kiboshed a carbon tax, Environment Minister Peter Kent confirmed Thursday.

“It’s off the table,” he told reporters Thursday after accepting an award from World Wildlife Fund International on behalf of Parks Canada. “There’s no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future.”

In 2008, the Conservatives floated a North America-wide cap-and-trade system trial balloon soon after U.S. President Barack Obama was elected. But during the election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned the carbon-tax scheme proposed in the New Democrat platform would spike gas prices.”