THE government’s clean energy plan contains some costly compromises, but retains its integrity by respecting fiscal discipline, acknowledging that adjustment must be gradual and recognising that the market should eventually set the carbon price, The Australian says in its editorial today.
The bottom line is that targets can only be met through innovation. We must find cheaper ways to produce energy, and more efficient ways of consuming it.
Providing the incentive to invest in research and development will allow Australia to determine its own destiny in a carbon-constrained world. And the built-in incentives that a price on carbon will deliver will encourage businesses to find smarter ways of doing more with less.
Despite the package’s redeeming qualities, Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces the fight of her political life to convince voters of its benefits. Breaking an election promise to embark on this course has put her political capital into deficit, and seeking parliamentary endorsement before securing a popular mandate is an error of judgment voters will find hard to forgive.