AUSTRALIA should pledge to cut its greenhouse emissions by 10 per cent by 2020 if the world clinches a climate change agreement at Copenhagen.
It should pledge to cut by 5 per cent even if the international community only manages a partial deal, the Rudd Government’s chief climate change advisor Professor Ross Garnaut says.
The first publicly available results from the Treasury’s emissions trading modelling reveal that a 10 per cent emission reduction would reduce Australia’s GDP by 1.1 per cent by 2020 and result in a carbon price by that date of about $34.50.
The 10 per cent reduction is calculated as Australia’s fair share of a global effort to stabilise emissions at 550 parts per million, a level that would still result in the destruction of Australia’s coral reefs, but Professor Garnaut says it is as tough a global target as seems practical in the near term.
The Garnaut target looks achievable. However, is it enough. In the end I am not sure what to make of it. He seems to indicate that we cannot do it without a global agreement. with fixed price CO2 without global agreement its kind of a soft stance on what is required to be done.
He is right that it may be our fair share. However, considering the real size of Australia’s emissions what would have been a great opportunity was to position Australia as a leader in this new emerging area.
But that would mean abandoning support for Industries which has provided the “dollars” to consume from the world.
Well, the business lobbyists have won.