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Corporate Australia & climate change « Previous | |Next »
February 5, 2007

The heat is rising in the global warming debate, which is increasingly becoming a clash between science versus capitalism. The 2007 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report, which brings together the last six years of research on global warming, says that the real climate system is changing as fast or even faster than expected by past IPCCs. That means the ice caps are melting faster and sea levels are rising faster than previously projected.

globalwarming.jpg
Bruce Petty

These kind of processes are not something you can stop. We are producing a different kind of planet. The earth in 2107 is going to be different from the earth of 2007, as it will have a different climate. That's sobering. The IPCC's "best guess" for global average temperature increase during the course of this century is now three degrees. It was only last year that two degrees was considered likely to constitute a dangerous increase. That's even more sobering.

That places the Great Barrier Reef at increased risk from the warming of the ocean. Ocean warming of 1-2 degrees for more than a few weeks causes bleaching events, whilst prolonged warming makes it difficult for the reef to recover.

What we still have in Australia is a reluctance by corporate Australia to face up to the reality of climate change. Thus BlueScope is quarantined from any imposed carbon tax by the NSW government and it would be compensated if it came to the crunch and carbon was priced---at say $20 a tonne of carbion dioxide equivalwent emissions. I presume that carbon emmissions and climtae change are still seen as a Leftie issue for some strange reason. The right balance has to be struck between environment, jobs and investment. The 'right balance', presumably, is the deal Bluescope struck with the Iemma Government in NSW for its proposed Port Kembla steelworks.

Yet climate change is going to hit company profits. Few companies have begun to calculate the external environmenal cost of those emmissions, let alone have put strategies in place to reduce their emissions. They seem to have their heads in the sand, or they think that they will be protected.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:49 AM |