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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Garnaut « Previous | |Next »
October 2, 2008

Garnaut has recommended that Australia aim for emissions cuts by 2020 of between 5 and 25 per cent, depending on the scope of the international agreement. The political realism is that there is no such thing as an Australian solution to this problem; that there is no reason why the financial crisis should derail efforts to tackle global warming; and that it will be difficult for the world to agree to cut emissions; to a target of 450pppm concentration (550ppm is more realistic).

However, no developed country or group of countries has indicated a willingness to cut emissions by 2020 to the extent implied by the 450ppm target. So the meeting at Copenhagen next year is crucial.

LeakGarnaut.jpg Bill Leak

The entire thrust of Garnaut's report is for Australian policy to be integrated into global agreement Because strong mitigation is in Australia's interest, Garnaut recommends that the Rudd Government back a global objective of 450 parts per million and show leadership by expressing its willingness to cut its emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 and by 90 per cent by 2050, but only in the context of an international agreement.

The upside is that Garnaut's modelling undermines the claim by those who claim that there will be huge costs in tackling greenhouse emissions. The initial impact of putting a price on carbon in the proposed emissions trading scheme will add about 1% to the consumer price index--the GST added around 4%. The annual increase in prices in subsequent years will be around 0.04% -note enough to bother the RBA.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:54 AM | | Comments (5)


Garnaut's argument is persusaive. His report estimates that by 2030 China will be responsible for 33per cent of global emissions, the US 11per cent, India 8 per cent and Australia 1 per cent. So a global agreement at Copenhagen must have as many nations as possible accepting binding targets.

And no agreement "would be effective unless China took on binding targets", though less stringent targets in a transition period.


Costello is now speaking out as a commentator.

No doubt about it. Leak sure has had some fun with Costello's book.
I note the people lining up to buy Garnaut's report are middle-aged hippies.

Like the Rudd government many around the world (and that includes local councils) have been granted with this world economic downturn/crisis a convenient license to fail/not deliver.
The environment will go quietly to the back burner (like many economic reforms) with most countries stalling while more information is gathered and leaders will agree to nod their heads that a world slowing equates to a big cut in emissions.

sadly you are probably right