15 June 2012

Pure Advantage replies about downplaying carbon pricing

The green-business-growth ginger group Pure Advantage have posted a reply at Hot Topic blog to my criticism that they are avoiding talking about carbon pricing.

They say they are completely aware of the need for real carbon pricing and that they are aware of the ineffectiveness of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. And they paid for James Hansen's speaking tour.

However, they perceive a "political reality" that John Key's National-led Government is not listening to criticism of the ETS or their broader energy and climate policies. Duncan Stuart says;

Your argument that Pure Advantage is not being transparent on carbon pricing is unfounded.
Will dialling up the price of carbon and including all sector scheme participants change behaviour? Absolutely.
Will government do this? No.
Will Pure Advantage repeating our ETS position make a difference to government’s lack of willingness to act? No.
But what would happen if Pure Advantage were to encourage industry to take the initiative and change their behaviour in the absence of a strong carbon price (i.e. ‘reality’)?
Well, for one thing you get a win by actually decreasing emissions rather than talking about it, and, secondly, you’ve then got a marketplace which is actually more capable and willing to accept said carbon price and a government that feels more comfortable about dictating that price.
It seems Pure Advantage are still saying the path forward to a carbon price is by downplaying the carbon price within the larger rubric of "Green Growth/sustainable development". To me this is Pure Advantage admitting that what they understand about carbon pricing is not quite what they say about carbon pricing.

How is that leadership?

I think Churchill's comment on the Americans in the Second World War hits the spot.

"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."

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