The Garnaut Review – Draft Report Release
In November 2007 the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, commissioned Professor Ross Garnaut to examine the impacts, challenges and opportunities of climate change for Australia.
On Monday 4 July 2008 Professor Garnaut released the draft report of his review. The draft report is the first of three steps in releasing the Review’s perspective on Australia’s climate change policy options, including the early findings of modeling work. Professor Garnaut will release a supplementary draft report in August that will contain the result of economic modeling and the important issues of adaptation. The final report of the Climate Change Review will be released in September.
Public forums on the draft report will be held in a number of capital cities across Australia from 7 to 11 July 2008. You can register your interest to participate in these forums here.
In his review, Professor Garnaut received almost 4000 submissions on a wide range of topics and consulted with a number of experts on subjects from climate change science to adaptation and innovation. Garnaut also worked with the Australian Treasury on ascertaining the costs of various degrees of Australian mitigation. This modeling is due for release in August.
The release today of the draft report is the first overarching assessment of the likely anticipated impact of climate change on the Australian economy. It is the first attempt at assessing what we can do to adapt to climate change, including the fairest way to spread costs of adapting to change across the economy.
The report notes that climate change is happening much faster than initially understood when former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their warnings in 2006 and 2007.
In April this year, Professor Garnaut co-wrote an academic paper that found that by 2030, greenhouse emissions are expected to be 14 per cent worse than the IPPC provided as its worse case scenario last year. Today’s report confirms this.
The draft report does not present the results of modeling the costs and potential benefits of climate change. However, it does provide the first public exposure of aspects of the Garnaut-Treasury and Garnaut Review approach on the modeling, and provides some detail as to the high-level results generated by the modeling. Subsequent economy-wide quantitative analysis will be built around this analysis, with the results being released in the supplementary draft report.
Today’s draft report contains a number of findings, including:
By 2050, unmitigated climate change on middle of the road outcomes would mean major declines in agricultural production across much of the country, including a 50 per cent reduction in irrigated agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin. By 2100, irrigated agriculture in the Murray Darling Basin would decline by 92 per cent.
- Early economic modelling results of readily measurable unmitigated climate change for middle of the road outcomes on temperatures and decline in rainfall – indicate that climate change would wipe off approximately 4.8 per cent of Australia’s projected GDP, around 5.4 per cent of projected household consumption, and 7.8 per cent from real wages by 2100.
- Australia needs to play its full part in the international effort of global mitigation, because Australia would hurt more than other developed countries by unmitigated climate change.
- Taking small actions that create an appearance of action but do not solve the problem are dangerous and that such an approach risks the integrity of Australia’s market economy.
In addition, the draft report:
- Supports Australia’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to cover as many sectors as practicable. The report indicates the more sectors included in the ETS, the more efficiently costs can be shared across the economy. The Report also indicates that transport should be included.
- Advocates the full auctioning of emissions permits and the return of all revenue to households and business, to compensate consumers for the rising energy and petrol prices.
- Proposes that half the proceeds from the sale of all permits is allocated to households, around 30 per cent provided for structural adjustment needs for business (including any payments to trade exposed energy intensive industries), and the remaining 20 per cent allocated to research and development, and the commercialisation of new technologies.
- Recommends that it would be in Australia’s interest to find out as soon as possible whether a low-emissions future for coal is feasible, and to support rapid deployment of commercially promising technologies. This follows from Australia’s role as the world’s largest exporter of coal and the central place of coal in growth in emissions from Asian developing countries.
- Supports the phase-out of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, once the ETS is fully operational.
Key Climate Change events: July 2008-June 2009:
|Measures aimed at reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions
|Measures aimed at adapting to the impacts of climate change we cannot avoid
|Measures aimed at helping Australia shape a global solution
For a copy of the full report, see: