Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

J. Quiggin, D. Adamson and D. Quiggin (Eds.): Carbon Pricing: Early Experience and Future Prospects

Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

J. Quiggin, D. Adamson and D. Quiggin (Eds.): Carbon Pricing: Early Experience and Future Prospects

Article excerpt

J. Quiggin, D. Adamson and D. Quiggin (eds.)

Carbon Pricing: Early Experience and Future Prospects

Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014, 183 pp., $132.60.

This book, based on papers presented at a University of Queensland workshop in October 2012, is an unfortunate casualty of bad timing and reactionary politics. The carbon price had just been introduced by the Gillard government. So it was thoroughly appropriate at that time to convene a group of economists, sustainable agricultural specialists and policy-oriented scientists to consider how it would play out in terms of economic and industry effects, including impacts on energy use and on farming practices. However, within a year, the newly-elected Abbott government had 'axed the tax'. The book therefore has a somewhat 'might have been' character. To put a more positive spin on it, it is now mainly of interest to those concerned with 'getting it right next time'.

The opening chapter by Ross Garnaut, for example, notes the tension between 'economic principles' and 'the interests of emissions-intensive businesses' and opines that 'the climate change policy debate ... has been marred by several truly awful contributions presented as being the professional work of economists' (p. …

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