Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
The Environment Minister has given the first sign the government is undergoing a pragmatic rethink of its jihad on carbon reduction initiatives and institutions in light of Clive Palmer's Al Gore moment.
Addressing the clean energy industry in Sydney, the government's Bob Baldwin has reiterated the Coalition's determination to axe the green bank for budget reasons – just as it delivers a healthy year of results.
Both the Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia are now making sounds that we still need an emissions trading scheme. Meanwhile consumer savings from repealing the current carbon price are hard to pin down.
In economics there isn't much difference between a carbon tax or a carbon trading scheme and neither are considered evil. But on 24 February 2011 when Julia Gillard said she was happy to use the word tax to describe her emissions trading scheme it made the world of difference and led to its subsequent repeal.
While the Four Corners program aired last week lamented Australia's position in the global renewables race, I was actually left uplifted and optimistic looking back to an eerily similar 2007 episode of Four Corners.
'Axe the carbon tax' was a good slogan but it won’t outlast sound principles of economics, nor the physics of the atmosphere. You can't kill a good idea - and an emissions trading scheme will become law again.
Tony Abbott's rise has been built on the electorate's fear of a carbon tax hit to the cost of living. But after repeal when they next visit Woolies and Coles and open their next electricity bill they'll be sorely disappointed, even with Clive Palmer's intervention.
The annual assessment of the Australian solar PV sector points to a near billion dollar industry in spite of plunging costs and a significant 11,700 stakeholders. But prices need to fall a lot more before disconnecting from the grid looks likely.
A multi-country group of researchers, led by Jeffrey Sachs, has shown how it is still possible to contain global warming and enjoy strong economic growth – with energy efficiency the first of three plausible steps.