Today, Australia’s Kyoto climate targets end and our Paris cop-out begins. That’s nothing to be proud of, Mr Taylor



Mick Tsikas/AAP

Penny van Oosterzee, James Cook University

Today marks the end of Australia’s commitments under the Kyoto climate deal as we move to its successor, the Paris Agreement. Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor on Wednesday was quick to hail Australia’s success in smashing the Kyoto emissions targets. But let’s be clear: our record is nothing to boast about.

Taylor says Australia has beaten Kyoto by up to 430 million tonnes — or 80% of one year of national emissions. On that record, he said, “Australians can be confident that we’ll meet and beat our 2030 Paris target”.




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The fact that Australia exceeded its Kyoto targets means it’s accrued so-called “carryover” carbon credits. It plans to use these to cover about half the emission reduction required under the Paris commitment by 2030.

But there’s been little scrutiny of why Australia met the Kyoto targets so easily. The reason dates back more than 20 years, when Australia demanded the Kyoto rules be skewed in its favour. Using those old credits to claim climate action today is cheating the system. Let’s look at why.

The Paris climate deal officially starts today.
Daniel Munoz/Reuters

Australian scorns the spirit of Paris

The Kyoto Protocol was an international treaty negotiated in 1997. Industrialised nations collectively pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels. The reductions were to be made between 2008 and 2012.

Any surplus emissions reduction in the first Kyoto period could be carried over to the second period, from 2013 to 2020. In the name of climate action, five developed countries – Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – voluntarily cancelled their surplus credits.

However, Australia held onto its credits. Now it wants to use them to meet its Paris target – reducing emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This is clearly not in the spirit of the Paris agreement. And importantly, the history of Kyoto shows Australia did not deserve to earn the credits in the first place.

Sneaky negotiations

Under Kyoto, each nation was assigned a target – measured against the nation’s specific baseline of emissions produced in 1990. During negotiations, Australia insisted on rules that worked in its favour.

Instead of reducing its emissions by 5.2%, it successfully demanded a lenient target that meant emissions in 2012 could be 8% more than they were in 1990.

Our negotiators argued we had special economic circumstances – that our dependence on fossil fuels and energy-intensive exports meant cutting emissions would be difficult. Australia threatened to walk away from the negotiations if its demand was not met.

Australia negotiated an advantageous deal under the UN Kyoto protocol.
Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Australia then waited until the final moments of negotiations – when many delegates were exhausted and translators had gone home – to make another surprising demand. It would only sign up to Kyoto if its 1990 emissions baseline (the year future reductions would be measured against) included emissions produced from clearing forests.

Here’s the catch. Australia’s emissions from forest clearing in 1990 were substantial, totalling about a quarter of total emissions, or 131.5 million tonnes of carbon.




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Forest clearing in Australia plummeted after 1990, when Queensland enacted tough new land clearing laws. So including deforestation emissions in Australia’s baseline meant we would never really struggle to meet – or as it turned out, beat – our targets. In fact, the rule effectively rewarded Australia for its mass deforestation in 1990.

This concession was granted, and became known as the Australia clause. It triggered international condemnation, including from the European environment spokesman who reportedly called it “wrong and immoral”.

Then prime minister John Howard declared the deal to be “splendid”.

John Howard was thrilled with Australia’s concessions under Kyoto.
LYNDON MECHIELSEN/AAP

A new round of Kyoto negotiations took place in 2010, for the second commitment period. Under the Gillard Labor government, Australia agreed to an underwhelming 5% decrease in emissions between 2013 and 2020.

Australia insisted on using the deforestation clause again, despite international pressure to drop it. It meant Australia’s carbon budget in the second period was about 26% higher than it would have been without the concession.

Had forest clearing not been included in the 1990 baseline, Australia’s emissions in 2017 were 31.8% above 1990 levels.

Forest clearing in 1990 made it easy for Australia to beat Kyoto targets.
Harley Kingston/Flickr

History repeats

At the Madrid climate talks last year, Australia reiterated its plans to use its surplus Kyoto credits under Paris. Without the accounting trick, Australia is not on track to meet its Paris targets.

Laurence Tubiana, a high-ranking architect of the Paris accord, expressed her disdain at the plan:

If you want this carryover, it is just cheating. Australia was willing in a way to destroy the whole system, because that is the way to destroy the whole Paris agreement.

Whether Australia will be allowed to use the surplus credits is another question, as the Paris rulebook is still being finalised.

Analysts say there is no legal basis for using the surplus credits, because Kyoto and Paris are separate treaties.

Australia appears the only country shameless enough to try the tactic. At Senate estimates last year, officials said they knew of no other nation planning to use carryover credits.

Protesters in Spain in January 2020, calling for global climate action.
JJ Guillen Credit/EPA

Nothing to be proud of

Some hoped Australia’s recent bushfire disaster might be a positive turning point for climate policy. But the signs are not good. The Morrison government is talking up the role of gas in Australia’s energy transition, and has so far failed to seize the opportunity to recharge the economy through renewables investment.

Crowing on Wednesday about Australia’s over-achievement on Kyoto, Taylor said the result was “something all Australians can be proud of”.

But Australia abandoned its moral obligations under Kyoto. And by carrying our surplus credits into the Paris deal, we risk cementing our status as a global climate pariah.




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The Conversation


Penny van Oosterzee, Adjunct Associate Professor James Cook University and University Fellow Charles Darwin University, James Cook University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Albanese pledges Labor government would have 2050 carbon-neutral target



AAP

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Anthony Albanese will commit a Labor government to adopting a target of zero net emissions by 2050, in a speech titled “Leadership in a New Climate” to be delivered on Friday.

The opposition leader’s embrace of this target, which the ALP also took to the last election, is in line with the policies of state and territory governments, many companies and the Business Council of Australia. It is also the public stand of some Liberal moderates but is totally rejected by the Nationals and hard-line Liberals.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to adopt it.

“Currently no one can tell me that going down that path won’t cost jobs, won’t put up your electricity prices, and won’t impact negatively on jobs in the economies of rural and regional Australia, ” he said this week.

In his speech, released ahead of time, Albanese also says a Labor government would never use Kyoto credits to meet Australia’s Paris targets, as the government will do if that is necessary.

And Albanese again condemns the government for putting $4 million into a feasibility study for a coal-fired power station in Collinsville, Queensland.

But Albanese is leaving until closer to the election the shorter-term emissions reduction target Labor will adopt.

At the last election it committed to a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030. Labor first took that target to the 2016 election and Albanese has previously said it was a mistake not to review it before the 2019 poll.

He says in his speech the 2050 carbon-neutral target should be “as non-controversial in Australia as it is in most nations”.

“This will be a real target, with none of the absurd nonsense of so-called ‘carryover credits’ that the prime minister has cooked up to give the impression he’s doing something when he isn’t.

“That’s not acting. It’s cheating. And Australian’s aren’t cheaters.”

On the Collinsville project, he says: “Let’s be clear. There is nothing to stop a private company investing its money in such a proposal. The reason it hasn’t is it doesn’t stack up.”

The $4 million is “just hush money for the climate sceptics who are stopping any real reform and who stopped the National Energy Guarantee supported by Turnbull, Morrison and Frydenberg.

“It’s pathetic. If it made sense the market would provide funding.

“The climate sceptics are market sceptics as well,” Albanese says.

“Investors will not contribute because the economic risks are simply too great. The costs are higher and rising. And the cost of alternatives like renewables is lower and falling.

“Everyone in the electricity sector knows that the only way a new coal power plant will be built in Australia is through significant taxpayer subsidies, including a carbon risk indemnity that the Australian Industry Group estimates would cost up to $17 billion for a single plant.

“That’s why one hasn’t been opened since 2007, construction hasn’t begun on one since 2004 and tenders haven’t been called this century,” Albanese says.

Meanwhile the terms of reference for the bushfire royal commission, released by Morrison on Thursday steer away from the issue of emissions reduction.

They acknowledge “the changing global climate carries risks for the Australian environment and Australia’s ability to prevent, mitigate and respond to bushfires”. But the inquiry is to report on

  • improving coordination across all levels of government in managing natural disasters
  • improving preparedness, resilience, and response in dealing with natural disasters
  • whether changes are needed to Australia’s legal framework for the involvement of the Commonwealth in responding to national emergencies.
  • The Conversation

    Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Australia has met its renewable energy target. But don’t pop the champagne



    Wind energy has played a major role in Australia’s fulfilment of the renewable energy target.
    Olivier Hoslet/AAP

    Dylan McConnell, University of Melbourne

    A wind farm project in Tasmania this week helped Australia reach something of a milestone, nudging it over the line to reach its renewable energy target.

    The Clean Energy Regulator announced it had approved capacity from the 148.5 megawatt Cattle Hill wind farm project, meaning the nation’s Large-scale Renewable Energy Target will be fulfilled.

    Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor seized on the development, suggesting it showed the government’s record investment in renewable energy was world-leading.

    Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said renewables investment would continue to grow.
    AAP

    Taylor has previously declared his government will not extend the target – the primary national mechanism supporting renewable energy. But this week he insisted “investment is not slowing down”.

    This bold claim flies in the face of the evidence. Investment in new renewable energy capacity is slowing down.

    Losing momentum: Australian renewables investment has cooled in 2019.
    Bloomberg New Energy Finance

    The latest data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance clearly shows a 21% drop in investment from the 2018 to 2019 financial years.

    As Australia’s emissions reduction task becomes ever more urgent, the investment downturn begs the question: what happens next?

    In fact, Australia cruised over the line

    It is ironic that the Morrison government rushed to claim a win on the renewable energy target when many in the Coalition had claimed it would be difficult to meet, or wanted it scrapped altogether.

    The policy involved tradeable certificates which created a financial incentive for new or expanded renewable energy power stations, such as wind and solar farms.

    Under the target just met, 33 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of Australia’s electricity would be produced by new renewables by 2020, bringing the total share of renewable energy to about 23.5%.

    Mount Majura Solar farm near Canberra.
    AAP/Lucas Cochleae



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    The target was established by the Rudd Labor governmentand overhauled by the Abbott Coalition government after it came to power. It commissioned a contentious review of the target, then in 2015 reduced it to 33TWh after protracted negotiations with Labor.

    As it transpired, that target was easily met. But the then industry minister Ian Macfarlane described the task as an “enormous challege”, and industry figures suggested the required wind energy was “almost impossible”. Even Taylor initially said the target was “too high”.

    The cut itself was bad enough for the renewable energy industry. But the uncertainty created during the review devastated investment.

    Renewable energy investment in Australia. There was a drop in investment during the review of the target, and a significant uptick once the bipartisan ship and a new target was restored. [Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-18/renewable-energy-investment-in-australia/9339350%5D
    BNEF

    Investment did boom following bipartisan support for the new, lower target. But we can only speculate what may have been possible without the uncertainty created by the review.

    It’s not looking rosy for renewables

    The drop-off in investment is a worrying trend for the renewable energy industry, and for climate action more broadly. We can expect a drop-off in new additions in capacity in line with the drop in investment.

    Australian Energy Market Commission data showing committed renewable energy projects for the next 12-18 months.

    The table above shows the current committed projects for next 12-18 months. While more projects are likely to be committed over the next 18 months, it’s hard to see the peak of 2018 repeated soon, particularly with investment dropping away.

    The achievement of the renewable energy target leaves a federal policy void. Renewable energy may now be the lowest-cost source of new electricity supply. But it is competing against assets such as coal-fired power stations with sunk costs – meaning that new renewables projects are essentially competing only with a coal plant’s fuel costs. Absent a price on carbon or similar policy, coal assets are allowed to pollute the atmosphere for free.

    The renewable energy target has helped displace fossil fuel-derived power from the electricity mix.
    AAP



    Read more:
    Making Australia a renewable energy exporting superpower


    What next?

    There are lessons to be learned from Germany to ensure a less bumpy transition to a decarbonised electricity sector. “Deployment corridors” help make the development of renewable energy sources more predictable, improve integration into the power system, and keep additional costs to consumers manageable.

    But unless emissions-intensive generation closes or renewable energy support is reintroduced, renewable energy expansion in Australia is unlikely to proceed at the pace required to meet the Paris targets. Keeping the global average temperature rise well below 2℃ requires “rapid and profound near-term decarbonisation of energy supply” and strong upscaling of renewables.

    The states are attempting to fill the federal policy gap. Several have their own renewable energy support schemes and all states in the east coast’s National Electricity Market have committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

    A coal station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
    Julian Smith/AAP

    Continued renewables growth also requires transmission infrastructure and storage technologies to ensure the distributed energy can be delivered where it is needed, and that reliability is maintained. Several states have also recently committed resources to transmission investment.




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    The state-led action calls into question the effectiveness of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) energy council. The group comprises the nation’s energy ministers and claims to maintain national “policy leadership” on energy. However it hasn’t met in almost nine months and its overarching agreement is more then 15 years old, and doesn’t refer to environmental outcomes or emissions cuts.

    A new direction for the council is probably wishful thinking in the current political environment. But as emissions continue to rise in Australia, the need for significant reform only intensifies.The Conversation

    Dylan McConnell, Researcher at the Australian German Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    We need a national renewables approach, or some states – like NSW – will miss out



    In the absence of federal policy, states are pursing their own renewable targets.
    Karsten Würth/Unsplash

    Scott Hamilton, University of Melbourne; Changlong Wang, University of Melbourne, and Roger Dargaville, Monash University

    Australia’s primary federal renewable energy target – to have 33 terawatts of renewable energy by 2020 – has essentially been achieved. There is much uncertainty as to what is next.

    In the absence of a new national target, the states have been leading the way and driving renewable energy in Australia. Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland between them have invested some A$20 billion into building 11,400 megawatts of generation capacity.

    While the states have worked admirably to advance renewable energy – and federal energy policy has long been politically toxic – there is a clear cost to pursuing many fragmented policies instead of a unified vision.

    Our research, modelling the effect of state versus national renewable energy targets in the National Energy Market system found there was little difference in the overall cost, but that states without strong renewable targets tended to miss out on investment.

    We need national thinking

    Most jurisdictions have net zero emissions targets by 2050. States also have ambitious but achievable shorter-term renewable energy targets and programs.

    There are plenty of arguments for states pursuing their own renewable energy targets, not least because they can fill the policy vacuum left at the national level.

    States are responding to the immediate need to replace retiring power stations and can explore innovation with greater ambition. It makes perfect sense for states to compete to attract jobs and investment.

    But Australia’s federal government has a domestic and international obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. National policies are more efficient, can harness better resources across our diverse geography and maximise returns for the whole system.

    What’s more – as many column inches have pointed out – strong federal policy improves investment certainty and reliability, lowering the cost of inevitable infrastructure upgrades. And those upgrades can be better integrated into our existing national electricity system if the building (and money) doesn’t stop at internal borders.

    To provide some insight and help move the debate forward, the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub have collaborated on research that was presented at an international conference in Denmark earlier this year.

    Quantifying the difference

    We simulated two scenarios: first, that all states implement polices to achieve their respective renewable energy and net zero emissions targets by 2050.

    The second scenario assumed a national target would be used to result in the “same outcome” of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

    The model calculates required energy investments with 5-year increments from today to 2050, including considering the existing generation currently operating. The model simultaneously optimises the mix of generation, transmission and storage to minimise the total system cost from 2020 to 2050.

    A key difference in results is where and when new generation is built. Under the state-driven approach, unsurprisingly, investment shifts towards states with more ambitious targets.

    The two figures below show how state-based targets drive more investment into Queensland than would be the case under a national target scheme.

    Spatial distribution of renewable generation

    Broadly speaking, under a national target, we see more efficient use of renewable energy and associated resources. NSW – with net zero 2050 target but no interim renewable energy target – would get a greater share of the renewable energy investment.

    Change in energy generation %

    NSW would consistently see substantially more investment under a national target scheme. This would be around 20% more generation in the 2030s in NSW, and up to 20 terawatt-hours more energy generated in the years 2030 to 2045.

    The rollout of “where and when” to build new renewable and other generation to replace ageing fossil fuel power plants also impacts heavily on the sequencing and timing for major transmission upgrades across the NEM – especially interconnectors between states.

    Transmission networks modelled.

    The graph shows that under a state target based approach we build more transmission infrastructure earlier than under a national approach. Under a national target approach, we would end up building more transmission infrastructure – albeit later.

    Again, broadly speaking, we would build more generation at renewable energy resource-rich areas such as NSW which happen to be near major demand centres like cities. This would delay the need for some infrastructure spend.

    What about system reliability and energy costs?

    The good news is it appears under either a state-based or a national target approach the outcome in 2050 is similar. The difference in total system costs is only about 1% higher in the state-based targets scenario – so, virtually nothing.

    Evolution of electricity generation – total system.

    State-based renewable energy targets lead to redistribution of renewable investments in favour of the states with a mid-term renewable energy target.

    In the Australian context, the current state-based renewable energy targets have no impact on undermining power system reliability and virtually negligible impact on pushing up power prices.

    Perhaps NSW should take particular note – as it would appear that it would benefit greatly from either a national target approach or an interim state target for itself.

    The debate about state versus national approaches to energy policy has been going for the past 30 years and no doubt will be around for another 30. In the meantime, we need a stronger hand on the transition tiller or we will waste precious resources and time, and likely have major unintended consequences.




    Read more:
    Making Australia a renewable energy exporting superpower


    The Conversation


    Scott Hamilton, Strategic Advisory Panel Member, Australian-German Energy Transition Hub, University of Melbourne; Changlong Wang, Researcher, The Energy Transition Hub, University of Melbourne, and Roger Dargaville, Senior lecturer, Monash University

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Shorten’s climate policy would hit more big polluters harder and set electric car target


    Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

    A Shorten government would add about 100 high polluters to those subject to an emissions cap, and drastically slash the present cap’s level, under the opposition’s climate policy released on Monday.

    Labor would aim for a new threshold under a revamp of the existing safeguards mechanism of 25,000 tonnes of direct carbon dioxide pollution annually, which would be phased in after consultation with industry.

    This would be a major reduction from the current cap of 100,000 tonnes. About 140 to 160 polluters come under the existing cap.

    The safeguards mechanism was established by the Coalition government to cap pollution for the biggest polluters by setting limits or “baselines” for facilities covered. But Labor says it has been ineffective.

    On transport, the policy sets an ambitious target of having electric vehicles form 50% of new car sales by 2030. The government fleet would have an electric vehicle target of 50% of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles by 2025.

    The climate change policy covers industry, transport and agriculture, with the proposed measures for the electricity sector, including an in-principle commitment to a national energy guarantee (NEG) and subsidies for batteries, already announced.

    The agriculture sector would not be covered by the expanded safeguards policy.

    The government’s emissions reduction fund – recently allocated a further A$2 billion over a decade and renamed – would be scrapped if Labor wins the May election.

    The climate policy is the third of three key policy announcements the opposition wanted to make before the election is called, likely next weekend. The others were the wages policy and the announcement of the start date – January 1 – for the proposed crackdown on negative gearing.

    The opposition has committed itself to a 45% economy-wide reduction in emissions relative to 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the government’s commitment to a reduction of 26-28%.

    Labor’s policy confirms that it would not use Australia’s credits from the expiring Kyoto Protocol to help meet its Paris target, saying this course is “fake action on climate change”. Bill Shorten said on Sunday: “It’s only the Australian Liberal Party and the Ukraine proposing to use these carryover credits that I am aware of.”

    Labor says it would “work in partnership with business to help bring down pollution.”

    “Labor’s approach isn’t about punishing polluters. It’s about partnering with industry to find real, practical solutions to cut pollution, in a way that protects and grows industry and jobs.”

    “There will be no carbon tax, carbon pricing mechanism, or government revenue,” Labor says.

    “Rather, Labor will reduce pollution from the biggest industrial polluters by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull.”

    “Pollution caps will be reduced over time and Labor will make it easier for businesses to meet these caps by allowing for industrial and international offsets.”

    The expanded scheme’s new threshold would capture an estimated 250 of the biggest industrial polluters – 0.01% of all businesses.

    Businesses would be able to earn credits for “overachievement” – reducing pollution below their baselines. They could sell these credits or use them to meet their future cap.

    “Tailored” treatment would be provided to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries (EITEs) such as steel, aluminium and cement. There would be a A$300 million Strategic Industries Reserve Fund “to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive”.

    A Shorten government would consult with industry and experts on baselines for individual entities and the timing of reduction.

    It would also put in place “a well-functioning offset market and reinvigorate the land offset market”.

    “Currently, a facility that emits more than its baseline must offset excess emissions by purchasing offsets, primarily from the land sector. But currently businesses cannot access international offsets, or offsets from the electricity sector.

    “Labor will make it easier for covered businesses to meet any offset obligations, not only by allowing for the creation and sale of offsets if emissions fall below baselines, but also through the purchase of international offsets and potentially offsets from the electricity sector.

    “We will also boost offset supply through revitalising the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) – including reforms to strengthen the integrity of the CFI, and increasing land and other sector abatement opportunities.

    “This will include exploring the establishment of ‘premium’ land sector credits to provide substantial environmental, biodiversity and other co-benefits, establishing a Carbon Assessment Standard to boost the bankability of offset projects, and re-vitalising offset methodology research and development with an additional A$40 million in funding over four years.

    “Labor’s plan will help industry reduce pollution at least cost, and give traditional owners, farmers, the forestry industry and traditional owners new opportunities to earn income.”

    On transport – which accounts for nearly 20% of Australia’s emissions – Labor says Australia is now last among western countries for electric vehicle uptake.

    “Setting a national target will deliver more affordable electric vehicles into the Australian market and drive the switch to electric vehicles, reducing their cost, creating thousands of jobs and cutting pollution.”

    Businesses would get an upfront tax deduction to buy electric vehicles, as part of the ALP’s announced Australian Investment Guarantee.

    One aspect of moving quickly to government electric vehicle fleets would be that it would develop a secondhand market, Labor says.

    “Labor will also work with industry to introduce vehicle emissions standards, to save Australian motorists hundreds of dollars each year at the bowser while driving down pollution on our roads.

    “Australia is now one of the only developed nations without vehicle emissions standards in place. As a result, motorists will pay as much as A$500 each year more at the bowser than they should be, as well as seeing pollution on our roads skyrocket.

    “Labor will consult on the timeline and coverage of vehicle emission standards to ensure consumers are made significantly better off, and aim to phase-in standards of 105g CO₂/km for light vehicles, which is consistent with Climate Change Authority advice.”

    These standards would be in line with those in the United States but less stringent than those in the European Union.

    “These standards will be applied to car retailers to meet average emissions standards, rather than imposing blanket mandatory standards on manufacturers.

    “This will allow retailers to meet the standards by offsetting high emissions car sales with low or zero emissions car sales – such as electric vehicles.”



    Emily Nunell/Michael Hopkin/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

    UPDATE: Reaction

    The government has reacted predictably to the Labor climate plan, branding it a “new tax”, ahead of what will be a major Coalition scare campaign in the election.

    Scott Morrison said the opposition leader “does not have a plan, he just has another tax.

    “What we’ve got here is a ‘re-Rudd’ of a failed policy that costs jobs, that costs businesses, that will cost Australians at least $9,000 a year, with the reckless targets that Bill Shorten will make law.”

    On electric cars, Morrison said Shorten needed to explain how in 10 years he would take them from 0.2% of the market to 50% – because if he didn’t achieve his “reckless target […] he has to come back and get that money off you”.

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the Shorten policy “would be a wrecking ball in the economy.

    “It would raise the price of electricity and the price of gas and the price of food and the price of cars. Labor needs to come clean on the detail – not just the mechanism, which we know is the carbon tax.”

    The Business Council of Australia welcomed the further details Labor had provided but said there were unanswered questions including “what mechanism will drive and manage the transition to lower-emissions generation in the electricity sector?”

    “It remains unclear how abatement will be delivered in the electricity sector and how the various announcements made today will contribute to an economy-wide emissions reduction target,” the BCA said.

    It said it had strongly supported the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and called on the ALP, if elected, “to commit to working with the states and territories to implement the scheme as a credible, market-based mechanism to drive abatement and investment in the electricity sector.”

    The Labor party has supported in principle a NEG – the plan the Coalition dumped because of an internal split over it.

    The Australian Conservation Foundation gave Labor’s policy a qualified tick, describing it as “a serious policy response to the existential threat of global warming that recognises pollution must be cut across all industry sectors.”

    “Labor’s climate change plan does address many of the important challenges Australia has in transforming into a zero-pollution economy,” the ACF said.

    But “unfortunately, sections of Labor’s policy platform contain significant wriggle room that big polluters may seek to exploit.

    “If it wins government Labor must quickly harden the detail around its policies and resist attempts of industry lobby groups like the Minerals Council of Australia, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Automobile Association to weaken climate action.”The Conversation

    Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Australia is not on track to reach 2030 Paris target (but the potential is there)



    File 20180905 45178 yvds90.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
    Australia’s energy emissions fell slightly due to renewable energy, but it’s not enough.
    Jonathan Potts/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

    Anna Skarbek, Monash University

    While Australia is coming to terms with yet another new prime minister, one thing that hasn’t changed is the emissions data: Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are not projected to fall any further without new policies.

    Australia, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change, has committed to reduce its total emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.




    Read more:
    Why is climate change’s 2 degrees Celsius of warming limit so important?


    New analysis by ClimateWorks Australia has found Australia has three times the potential needed to reach the federal government’s current 2030 target, but this will not be achieved under current policy settings.

    Energy is not the only sector

    Australia’s emissions were actually falling for more than half a decade, but have been steadily increasing again since 2013. If Australia sustained the rate of emissions reduction we achieved between 2005 and 2013, we could meet the government’s 2030 target. But progress has stalled in most sectors, and reversed overall.

    Emissions are still above 2005 levels in the industry, buildings and transport sectors, and only 3% below in the electricity sector. It is mainly because of land sector emissions savings that overall Australia’s emissions are on track to meet its 2020 target, and are currently 11% below 2005 levels.

    Despite the current focus on the energy market, electricity emissions comprise about one-third of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions. So no matter what policies are proposed for electricity, other policies will be needed for the other major sectors of industry, buildings, transport and land.

    Fortunately, Australia is blessed with opportunities for more emissions reductions in all sectors.




    Read more:
    Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees: really hard, but not impossible


    ClimateWorks’ analysis assessed Australia’s progress on reducing emissions at the halfway point from the 2005 base year to 2030, looking across the whole of the economy as well as at key sectors.

    We found emissions reductions since 2005 have been led by reduced land clearing and increased forestation, as well as energy efficiency and a slight reduction in power emissions as more renewable energy has entered the market. But while total emissions reduced at an economy-wide level, and in some sectors at certain times, none of the sectors improved consistently at the rate needed to achieve the Paris climate targets.

    Interestingly, some sub-sectors were on track for some of the time. Non-energy emissions from industry and the land sector were both improving at a rate consistent with a net zero emissions pathway for around five years. The buildings sector energy efficiency and electricity for some years improved at more than half the rate of a net zero emissions pathway. These rates have all declined since 2014 (electricity resumed its rate of improvement again in 2016).

    Looking forward

    Looking forward to 2030, we studied what would happen to emissions under current policies and those in development, including the government’s original version of the National Energy Guarantee with a 26% emission target for the National Electricity Market. Our analysis shows emissions reductions would be led by a further shift to cleaner electricity and energy efficiency improvements in buildings and transport, but that this would be offset by population and economic growth.

    As a result, emissions reductions are projected to stagnate at just 11% below 2005 levels by 2030. Australia needs to double its emissions reduction progress to achieve the federal government’s 2030 target and triple its progress in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

    So, while Australia is not currently on track to meet 2030 target, our analysis found it is still possible to get there.




    Read more:
    What is a pre-industrial climate and why does it matter?


    The gap to the 2030 target could be more than covered by further potential for emissions reductions in the land sector alone, or almost be covered by the further potential in the electricity sector alone, or by the potential in the industry, buildings and transport sectors combined. Harnessing all sectors’ potential would put us back on track for the longer-term Paris Agreement goal of net zero emissions.

    Essentially this involves increasing renewables and phasing out coal in the electricity sector; increasing energy efficiency and switching to low carbon fuels in industry; increasing standards in buildings; introducing vehicle emissions standards and shifting to electricity and low carbon fuels in transport; and undertaking more revegetation or forestation in the land sector.

    The opportunities identified in each sector are the lowest-cost combination using proven technologies that achieve the Paris Agreement goal, while the economy continues to grow.




    Read more:
    Australia can get to zero carbon emissions, and grow the economy


    In the next two years, countries around the world, including Australia, will be required to report on the progress of their Paris Agreement targets and present their plans for the goal of net zero emissions. With so much potential for reducing emissions across all sectors of the Australian economy, we can do more to support all sectors to get on track – there is more than enough opportunity, if we act on it in time.The Conversation

    Anna Skarbek, CEO at ClimateWorks Australia, Monash University

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    The new 100% recyclable packaging target is no use if our waste isn’t actually recycled



    File 20180503 153884 180g652.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
    These are already 100% recyclable – the trick is to actually recycle them.
    Srisakorn Wonglakorn/Shutterstock.com

    Atiq Zaman, Curtin University

    Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers last week agreed on an ambitious target that 100% of Australian packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. This is no doubt sensible, given the turmoil sparked by China’s crackdown on waste imports.

    Having a 100% target is fantastic. But this does not mean that all of the waste we generate in 2025 will necessarily find its way to one of these destinations.

    For one thing, the definitions of different waste categories vary by state and territory, so there is no commonly accepted working definition of what constitutes “recyclable, compostable or reusable”.




    Read more:
    China’s recycling ‘ban’ throws Australia into a very messy waste crisis


    In practice, these terms depend largely on the infrastructure available. Single-use plastic bags are a good example of a product that is technically recyclable but which is not accepted in most councils’ kerbside recycling collection. That’s because they are often contaminated with food waste and many councils lack the machinery to process them.

    On its own, the new 100% target is not enough, because it doesn’t guarantee that recyclable or reusable items will definitely be recycled or reused. To really make a difference, we also need policies and market incentives to ensure that these things end up where we want them to.

    Driving recycling

    We can see this principle in action by looking at the issue of drink containers. Glass and plastic bottles are already 100% recyclable, yet there is a stark difference in recycling rates between states that do have container deposit schemes, and those that don’t.

    In South Australia, which has had container deposit legislation for more than 40 years, almost 80% of drink bottles are recycled. But in Western Australia, where similar legislation is only at the discussion stage, the rate is just 65%.

    Despite the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ attempt at a National Waste Account in 2013, little nationwide data are available, thanks to a lack of a consistent reporting framework across different jurisdictions.

    Plastic not fantastic

    In sectors where not all waste is fully recyclable, the problem is more complex still. Of the seven categories of plastic packaging, only three are economically viable to recycle: PET (soft drink bottles); HDPE (milk bottles); and PVC (shampoo bottles). The other four – LDPE (garbage bags); PP (microwaveable cookware); PS (foam hot drink cups); and other plastics – are less economically viable and so are recycled at much lower rates. While these plastics will still be allowed under the new target as they are technically recyclable, the new target might prompt a switch to less problematic materials.

    Globally, around 78 million tonnes of plastic is used every year, but only 14% is collected for recycling, while 14% is incinerated and the remaining 72% ends up in landfill or as litter in the environment.

    The fate of the world’s plastics.
    Author provided

    The problems are no less vexing for other types of waste. With market rates for many types of recyclable paper having dropped to zero in the wake of China’s import restrictions, it will be hard to see how some products will be recycled at all, if left purely to economic forces.

    Retailers may have to embrace more innovative solutions to improve the quality of recycling waste, such as reverse vending machines, which accept items such as aluminium cans and plastic or glass bottles – as long as they are cleaned and sorted. However, without creating a local waste market or government incentives, we cannot expect retailers to buy their packaging back.

    And this is before we even consider the complexities of composting and reuse. Compostable waste as a whole is already facing problems due to a high contamination rate, and lack of separate bin for recycling organic waste in many local councils. Reuse, meanwhile, needs us to tackle the eternal problem of people’s perceptions and behaviour about using old packaging again.

    Will some kinds of packaging disappear?

    Under the product stewardship initiative, which calls on producers and retailers to take care of the waste produced after consumption of goods, it seems more likely that some materials will simply be phased out of the product supply chain altogether.

    The impending plastic bag bans in several states and leading supermarkets offers a chance to replace them not with heavier, more durable plastic, but with biodegradable, renewable and eco-friendly natural materials such as hemp.

    In turn, this would boost hemp production (alongside the legalisation of hemp-based medicine and food products in Australia). This could lead to the opportunity for manufacturing industry to produce environmentally friendly biodegradable plastics. Hemp-based biodegradable plastic would significantly safeguard the environment, even if we failed to achieve a 100% recycling of biodegradable plastic packaging. Similarly, glass or aluminium might be used instead of plastic, and are more easily recycled.

    Even more innovatively, we might even see the arrival of edible packaging derived from the milk protein casein, formed into film rather like plastic cling wrap, which can be used to package foods such as butter or cheese.




    Read more:
    The recycling crisis in Australia: easy solutions to a hard problem


    We need a better target

    We’ve established that it’s not enough simply to set a target of making 100% of our waste recyclable, compostable or reusable. To really feel the benefits we need a follow-on target, such as actually recycling 100% of our packaging by 2030.

    For this to work, we would need three things:

    1. legislation, regulations or incentives for manufacturers to develop new packaging types;
    2. an increase in public participation rates in recycling; and
    3. the development of a strong domestic market for recyclable materials.

    The ConversationFinally, we should remember that waste prevention is better than waste management. Everyone – from governments, to manufacturers, to retailers, to consumers – should focus first on generating less waste in the first place. Then the fiendish problem of what to do with our waste will be all the smaller.

    Atiq Zaman, Lecturer, Curtin University

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    What’s the net cost of using renewables to hit Australia’s climate target? Nothing


    Andrew Blakers, Australian National University; Bin Lu, Australian National University, and Matthew Stocks, Australian National University

    Australia can meet its 2030 greenhouse emissions target at zero net cost, according to our analysis of a range of options for the National Electricity Market.

    Our modelling shows that renewable energy can help hit Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 effectively for free. This is because the cost of electricity from new-build wind and solar will be cheaper than replacing old fossil fuel generators with new ones.


    Read more: Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia


    Currently, Australia is installing about 3 gigawatts (GW) per year of wind and solar photovoltaics (PV). This is fast enough to exceed 50% renewables in the electricity grid by 2030. It’s also fast enough to meet Australia’s entire carbon reduction target, as agreed at the 2015 Paris climate summit.

    Encouragingly, the rapidly declining cost of wind and solar PV electricity means that the net cost of meeting the Paris target is roughly zero. This is because electricity from new-build wind and PV will be cheaper than from new-build coal generators; cheaper than existing gas generators; and indeed cheaper than the average wholesale price in the entire National Electricity Market, which is currently A$70-100 per megawatt-hour.

    Cheapest option

    Electricity from new-build wind in Australia currently costs around A$60 per MWh, while PV power costs about A$70 per MWh.

    During the 2020s these prices are likely to fall still further – to below A$50 per MWh, judging by the lower-priced contracts being signed around the world, such as in Abu Dhabi, Mexico, India and Chile.

    In our research, published today, we modelled the all-in cost of electricity under three different scenarios:

    • Renewables: replacement of enough old coal generators by renewables to meet Australia’s Paris climate target

    • Gas: premature retirement of most existing coal plant and replacement by new gas generators to meet the Paris target. Note that gas is uncompetitive at current prices, and this scenario would require a large increase in gas use, pushing up prices still further.

    • Status quo: replacement of retiring coal generators with supercritical coal. Note that this scenario fails to meet the Paris target by a wide margin, despite having a similar cost to the renewables scenario described above, even though our modelling uses a low coal power station price.

    The chart below shows the all-in cost of electricity in the 2020s under each of the three scenarios, and for three different gas prices: lower, higher, or the same as the current A$8 per gigajoule. As you can see, electricity would cost roughly the same under the renewables scenario as it would under the status quo, regardless of what happens to gas prices.

    Levelised cost of electricity (A$ per MWh) for three scenarios and a range of gas prices.
    Blakers et al.

    Balancing a renewable energy grid

    The cost of renewables includes both the cost of energy and the cost of balancing the grid to maintain reliability. This balancing act involves using energy storage, stronger interstate high-voltage power lines, and the cost of renewable energy “spillage” on windy, sunny days when the energy stores are full.

    The current cost of hourly balancing of the National Electricity Market (NEM) is low because the renewable energy fraction is small. It remains low (less than A$7 per MWh) until the renewable energy fraction rises above three-quarters.

    The renewable energy fraction in 2020 will be about one-quarter, which leaves plenty of room for growth before balancing costs become significant.

    Cost of hourly balancing of the NEM (A$ per MWh) as a function of renewable energy fraction.

    The proposed Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project would have a power generation capacity of 2GW and energy storage of 350GWh. This could provide half of the new storage capacity required to balance the NEM up to a renewable energy fraction of two-thirds.

    The new storage needed over and above Snowy 2.0 is 2GW of power with 12GWh of storage (enough to provide six hours of demand). This could come from a mix of pumped hydro, batteries and demand management.

    Stability and reliability

    Most of Australia’s fossil fuel generators will reach the end of their technical lifetimes within 20 years. In our “renewables” scenario detailed above, five coal-fired power stations would be retired early, by an average of five years. In contrast, meeting the Paris targets by substituting gas for coal requires 10 coal stations to close early, by an average of 11 years.

    Under the renewables scenario, the grid will still be highly reliable. That’s because it will have a diverse mix of generators: PV (26GW), wind (24GW), coal (9GW), gas (5GW), pumped hydro storage (5GW) and existing hydro and bioenergy (8GW). Many of these assets can be used in ways that help to deliver other services that are vital for grid stability, such as spinning reserve and voltage management.


    Read more: Will the National Energy Guarantee hit pause on renewables?


    Because a renewable electricity system comprises thousands of small generators spread over a million square kilometres, sudden shocks to the electricity system from generator failure, such as occur regularly with ageing large coal generators, are unlikely.

    Neither does cloudy or calm weather cause shocks, because weather is predictable and a given weather system can take several days to move over the Australian continent. Strengthened interstate interconnections (part of the cost of balancing) reduce the impact of transmission failure, which was the prime cause of the 2016 South Australian blackout.

    The ConversationSince 2015, Australia has tripled the annual deployment rate of new wind and PV generation capacity. Continuing at this rate until 2030 will let us meet our entire Paris carbon target in the electricity sector, all while replacing retiring coal generators, maintaining high grid stability, and stabilising electricity prices.

    Andrew Blakers, Professor of Engineering, Australian National University; Bin Lu, PhD Candidate, Australian National University, and Matthew Stocks, Research Fellow, ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Australian National University

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    A cleanish energy target gets us nowhere



    File 20170920 25319 2stl05

    Shutterstock

    Alan Pears, RMIT University

    It seems that the one certainty about any clean energy target set by the present government is that it will not drive sufficient progress towards a clean, affordable, reliable energy future. At best, it will provide a safety net to ensure that some cleanish energy supply capacity is built.

    Future federal governments will have to expand or complement any target set by this government, which is compromised by its need to pander to its rump. So a cleanish energy target will not provide investment certainty for a carbon-emitting power station unless extraordinary guarantees are provided. These would inevitably be challenged in parliament and in the courts.


    Read more: Turnbull is pursuing ‘energy certainty’ but what does that actually mean?


    Even then, the unstoppable evolution of our energy system would leave an inflexible baseload power station without a market for much of the electricity it could generate. Instead, we must rely on a cluster of other strategies to do the heavy lifting of driving our energy market forward.

    The path forward

    It’s clear that consumers large and small are increasingly investing “behind the meter” in renewable energy technology, smart management systems, energy efficiency and energy storage. In so doing, they are buying insurance against future uncertainty, capturing financial benefits, and reducing their climate impacts. They are being helped by a wide range of emerging businesses and new business models, and existing energy businesses that want to survive as the energy revolution rolls on.

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is providing critically important information on what’s needed to deliver energy objectives. The recently established Energy Security Board will work to make sure that what’s needed is done – in one way or another. Other recommendations from the Finkel Review are also helping to stabilise the electricity situation.

    The recent AEMO/ARENA demand response project and various state-level energy efficiency retailer obligation schemes and renewable energy targets are examples of how important energy solutions can be driven outside the formal National Energy Market. They can bypass the snail-paced progress of reforming the NEM.

    States will play a key role

    State governments are setting their own renewable energy targets, based on the successful ACT government “contracts for difference” approach, discussed below. Victoria has even employed the architect of the ACT scheme, Simon Corbell. Local governments, groups of businesses and communities are developing consortia to invest in clean energy solutions using similar models.

    Some see state-level actions as undermining the national approach and increasing uncertainty. I see them as examples of our multi-layered democratic system at work. Failure at one level provokes action at another.

    State-level actions also reflect increasing energy diversity, and the increasing focus on distributed energy solutions. States recognise that they carry responsibilities for energy: indeed, the federal government often tries to blame states for energy failures.

    There is increasing action at the network, retail and behind-the-meter levels, driven by business and communities. While national coordination is often desirable, mechanisms other than national government leadership can work to complement national action, to the extent it occurs.

    Broader application of the ACT financing model

    A key tool will be a shift away from the current RET model to the broader use of variations of the ACT’s contract for difference approach. The present RET model means that project developers depend on both the wholesale electricity price and the price of Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) for revenue. These are increasingly volatile and, over the long term, uncertain. In the past we have seen political interference and low RET targets drive “boom and bust” outcomes.

    So, under the present RET model, any project developer faces significant risk, which makes financing more difficult and costly.

    The ACT contract for difference approach applies a “market” approach by using a reverse auction, in which rival bidders compete to offer the desired service at lowest cost. It then locks in a stable price for the winners over an agreed period of time.

    The approach reduces risk for the project developer, which cuts financing costs. It shifts cost risk (and opportunity) to whoever commits to buy the electricity or other service. The downside risk is fairly small when compared with the insurance of a long-term contract and the opportunity to capture savings if wholesale electricity prices increase.

    The ACT government has benefited from this scheme as wholesale prices have risen. It also includes other requirements such as the creation of local jobs. This approach can be applied by agents other than governments, such as the consortium set up by the City of Melbourne.

    For business and public sector consumers, the prospect of reasonably stable energy prices, with scope to benefit if wholesale prices rise and limited downside risk, is attractive in a time of uncertainty. For project developers, a stable long-term revenue stream improves project viability.

    The approach can also potentially be applied to other aspects of energy service provision, such as demand response, grid stabilisation or energy efficiency. It can also be combined with the traditional “power purchase agreement” model, where the buyer of the energy guarantees a fixed price but the project developer carries the risk and opportunity of market price variations. It can also apply to part of a project’s output, to underpin it.

    The ConversationWhile sorting out wholesale markets is important, we need to remember that this is just part of the energy bill. Energy waste, network operations, retailing and pricing structures such as high fixed charges must also be addressed. Some useful steps are being taken, but much more work is needed.

    Alan Pears, Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    Finkel’s Clean Energy Target plan ‘better than nothing’: economists poll


    Bruce Mountain, Victoria University

    Few topics have attracted as much political attention in Australia over the past decade as emissions reduction policy.

    Amid mounting concern over electricity price increases across Australia and coinciding with blackouts in South Australia and near-misses in New South Wales, the Australian government asked Chief Scientist Alan Finkel to provide a blueprint for reform of the electricity industry, in a context in which emissions reduction policy was an underlying drumbeat.

    In a new poll of the ESA Monash Forum of leading economists, a majority said that Finkel’s suggested Clean Energy Target was not necessarily a better option than previously suggested policies such as an emissions trading scheme. But many added that doing nothing would be worse still.


    Read more: The Finkel Review: finally, a sensible and solid footing for the electricity sector.


    The Finkel Review’s terms of reference explicitly precluded it from advising on economy-wide emissions reduction policy, and implicitly required it also to reject emission reduction policies such as an emissions tax or cap and trade scheme.

    One of the Finkel Review’s major recommendations was a Clean Energy Target (CET). This is effectively an extension of the existing Renewable Energy Target to cover power generation which has a greenhouse gas emissions intensity below a defined hurdle. Such generation can sell certificates which electricity retailers (and directly connected large customers) will be required to buy.

    The ESA Monash Forum panel was asked to consider whether this approach was “preferable” to an emission tax or cap and trade scheme. As usual, responses could range from strong disagreement to strong agreement with an option to neither agree nor disagree. Twenty-five members of the 53-member panel voted, and most added commentary to their response – you can see a summary of their verdicts below, and their detailed comments at the end of this article.

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Kzu9L/2/

    A headline result from the survey is that a large majority of the panel does not think the CET is preferable to a tax or cap and trade scheme. None strongly agreed that the CET was preferable, whereas 16 either disagreed or strongly disagreed, and four agreed.

    Of the four who agreed, three provided commentary to their response. Stephen King preferred the CET on the grounds of its ease of implementation but otherwise would have preferred a tax or cap and trade scheme. Michael Knox agreed on the basis that the CET was preferable to the existing Renewable Energy Target. Harry Bloch unconditionally endorsed the CET.

    Of the five who neither agreed nor disagreed, three commented and two of them (Paul Frijters and John Quiggin) said there was not much to distinguish a CET from a tax or cap and trade scheme. Warwick McKibbin, who disagreed with the proposition, nonetheless also suggested that the CET, tax and cap and trade scheme were comparably effective if applied only to the electricity sector.

    However, closer examination of the comments suggests much greater sympathy with Finkel’s CET recommendation than the bare numbers indicate. Even for those who strongly disagreed that the CET was preferable, none suggested that proceeding with a CET would be worse than doing nothing. But eight (Stephen King, Harry Bloch, Alison Booth, Saul Eslake, Julie Toth, Flavio Menezes, Margaret Nowak and John Quiggin) commented that proceeding with the CET would be better than doing nothing. Interestingly none of these eight explained why they thought doing something was better than doing nothing. Does it reflect a desire for greater investment certainty or a conviction that reducing emissions from electricity production in Australia is important?

    Seven respondents (Stephen King, Alison Booth, Saul Eslake, Julie Toth, Gigi Foster, Lin Crase and John Quiggin) alluded to the political constraints affecting the choice, of which several drew attention to Finkel’s own observations. None of these seven suggested that the political constraint invalidated proceeding with the CET.

    Of the 19 economists who provided comments on their response, 16 thought a tax or cap and trade scheme better than a CET. Numbers were equally drawn (three each) as to whether a tax or cap and trade was better than the other, with the remaining 10 invariant between a tax or cap and trade.

    My overall impression is that in judging Dr Finkel’s CET recommendation, most of the panel might agree with the proposition that the “the perfect is the enemy of the roughly acceptable”. I surmise that in a decade past, many members of the panel would have held out for greater perfection, but now they think prevarication is more cost than benefit, and it is better to move on and make the best of the cards that have been dealt.

    In emissions reduction policy the mainstream advice from Australia’s economists has not been persuasive. But this is hardly unique to Australia, as the pervasiveness of regulatory approaches in other countries shows. Perhaps an unavoidably compromised policy that is nonetheless well executed may be better than a brilliant policy that is poorly executed. Even if they could not have been more persuasive in design, Australia’s economists should still have much that is useful to contribute in execution. Hopefully more can be drawn into it.

    Read the panel’s full responses below:

    https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/115/8c22ecaf49b3a727fb96e8c3b50da37fd0c28f49/site/index.html


    The ConversationThis is an edited version of the summary of the report’s findings originally published by the ESA Monash Forum.

    Bruce Mountain, Director, Carbon and Energy Markets., Victoria University

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.