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Clive Hamilton, on his and Karoly's CCA minority report


  • John Quiggin has just published a statement on his blog.
    The CCA report and the government response .

    Statement by Professor John Quiggin regarding government response to Climate Change Authority Special Review report
    1. The Climate Change Authority is an independent body responsible for delivering independent expert advice on climate change policy within the principles set out in the Climate Change Authority Act 2011. In my view, the Authority’s primary obligation is to provide the Parliament, which established it, with a basis on which Parliament can adopt, and the government can implement, policies to meet Australia’s international obligations. As stated in previous reports by the Authority, and reiterated in the current report, our commitment to internationally equitable policies consistent with holding global warming below 2 degrees will require emissions reductions of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2030. This is consistent with the evidence of climate science and with the actions being taken by other countries to meet their commitments.
    2. It is therefore appropriate, in my view, for advice on the design of climate policy to take account of the existing settings of policy, the general desirability of consistency and stability in policy, and the policy commitments already made by parties and members of Parliament, . That is, it is appropriate to recommend a policy or policy toolkit that is:
    (i) able to be implemented in the short run and scaled up over time to meet Australia’s international obligations, bearing in mind that our existing indicative commitments will themselves be scaled up over time; and
    (ii) based on existing policies and capable of commanding broad support in Parliament
    even if, in the absence of the constraints imposed by the history of policy in this field, other policies might be regarded as more cost-effective and reliable.
    3. Conversely, it is not appropriate for the Authority, as an independent advisory body to accept political constraints that would be inconsistent with the obligation to make recommendations consistent with our international obligations.
    4. I believe that the toolkit proposed by the Authority meets the criteria set out in point 2 and I therefore commend it to the Parliament.
    5. The Authority’s report has received favourable responses from stakeholders including the Business Council of Australia, AIGroup and the Australian Energy Council.
    6. However, an effective response to Australia’s international obligations is feasible only if the major parties, and particularly the government parties, understand the urgency of the problem and are committed to adopting a comprehensive response as soon as possible.
    7. Unfortunately, government’s response so far suggests that
    (a) the government is unlikely to contemplate any further action before the completion of a review scheduled for the second half of 2017; and
    (b) even in the context of this review, the government does not intend to make substantial modifications to current policies along the lines suggested in the Authority’s report.
    8. Of particular concern are statements by the Minister for the Environment and Energy to ABC radio that the CCA recommendations were “a report to, not by, government” and that:

    Now we’re doing a review in 2017, but it has to be said we are seeing a dramatic transition already in the energy markets in Australia and we are transitioning to a lower emissions future successfully with the policies we currently have in place.

    The dismissal of a report requested by the government has been widely interpreted as a rejection of the recommendations. The claim that existing policies are sufficient to achieve a transition to a lower emissions future is entirely inconsistent with the findings of the Authority’s report.
    9. These statements are of even greater concern in the light of:
    (a) The earlier characterisation of the 2017 review as a ‘situation report’; and
    (b) The statement, attributed to the Minister, that the government does not plan to refer any further issues to the Authority for review.
    Taken together, these statements suggest that a substantial change in policy as a result of the 2017 review is not anticipated, and that no serious consideration of policy options will be undertaken prior to the review.
    10. The problem is exacerbated the omission from the 2016-17 budget of any additional funding for the Emissions Reduction Fund;
    11. In practice, the government’s apparent position is likely to preclude the implementation of any effective policy response during the term of the current Parliament.
    12. Should the government fail to act now, the toolkit proposed by the Authority is unlikely to prove sufficient to meet Australia’s international commitments. More radical and costly action in the future will be needed to offset the growth in emissions caused by short term inaction.
    13. I urge the government to reconsider its position and adopt the recommendations of the Authority’s review as a matter of urgency. I urge the Parliament as a whole to seek agreement on an approach to climate policy that can be sustained, and scaled up, over the period to 2030 and beyond, consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

  • Yes I saw that. I'm still inclined to think that Hamilton and Karoly have a better case, although I can see Quiggin's POV.
  • Here in New Zealand the effort is no better
    We have a Emissions trading "scam"  The government has turned it into a joke.
    Using cheap dodgy east European units to massage away our ever increasing emissions over the next two decades . Early on  the ETS scheme  resulted in a growth of forestry farming carbon credits but that has since reversed with more land being converted into dairy farms from forest .
    I guess the only difference between the NZ government Australia and the USA is ours is better at hiding the bullsmeg.

    My take is Quiggin thinks it is better to be inside the tent working to improve the result than outside wailing pointlessly at the moon.

    Victor V with his European outlook is far more optimistic than many in the anglophile country's.

     In NZ we have near on 100% renewable electrical generation but emissions from the  transport and  farming sectors and our remoteness from our markets means we are no where as clean as you would think if you only look at our co2 per captia.

    What happens when the carbon budget runs out to country's that  like nz and au have not future proofed?

    What will be the international repercussions ?

    Will country's that have kept to the agreements intent  take action against us who have not?

    Will there arise blocks aligned towards a commitment to a carbon free world along with others who are ignoring the peril?

  • edited September 2016
    Griff said:

    My take is Quiggin thinks it is better to be inside the tent working to improve the result than outside wailing pointlessly at the moon.
    Yes, that's the rationale, but Hamilton does a good job of demolishing it in his piece.

    "The pragmatic pundits have invested their hopes in this delicate series of hypotheticals, viz., sceptical backbenchers are too dopey to realize what’s going on, Turnbull is still the old Malcolm, he has a lot of political capital, he will spend it on climate change, and Labor will go along with it all.

    It seems to me that in their desire to see Australia have a serious climate policy the pundits are victims of wishful thinking. Their desire is noble, but maybe they need a bucket of cold political reality tipped over them."

  • Somewhat related:
    Australia's emissions won't fall by 2030 without greater climate action, modelling shows

    Australia’s emissions will remain at the same level through to 2030, despite the federal government paying polluters billions to lower greenhouse gas emissions and some states having ambitious renewable energy targets, according to new analysis by the energy advisory firm RepuTex.

    Combining the effect of current policy settings with expected growth in liquefied natural gas exports and land clearing, Australia’s emissions were modelled to end up at just 2% below 2005 levels by 2030.

    To meet current targets, which are at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2030, a total of about 1bn tonnes of carbon dioxide will need to be avoided.

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