An update on the Australian carbon pricing mechanism

On Friday last week (February 3), the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) published a position paper (see here) that will inform the development of a legislative instrument for auctioning carbon units that will specify the detailed policies, procedures and rules for auctioning carbon units; the DCCEE is now seeking public comment on that position paper. The deadline: 24 February 2012; yes, a couple of weeks away. There will also be two technical working groups in Sydney on Thursday, (16 February) and Melbourne (17 February) but apparently they are by invitation only.

Also last week, the DCCEE released a consultation paper which you can find here; that consultation paper provides an experimental test of possible designs for the Australian carbon pricing mechanism.
While I welcome the fact that policy decisions of that kind are tested experimentally (Disclosure: I am one of the authors and a peer reviewer of select chapters of that study), it is incomprehensible to me that a report that was written in late 2009/early 2010 (and submitted in May 2010) is only now being released.

I also wonder how someone can reasonably expect that a couple of weeks are enough for serious commentary (especially given the fact that whoever comments on the position paper and its positions probably ought to have read at least sections of the consultation paper); makes me wonder how serious the DCCEE is about seeking public comment on the position paper.

I, for one, will now go back to writing my Discovery grant proposal which is on evidence-based policy making. Oh, wait …