The federal government has announced its greenhouse gas emissions target for 2020 of a 5 to 15 per cent reduction on what emission levels were in 2000.
The full details are here. There are lots of figures scattered, which can all feel like a bit of a blur after a while. But the simple fact is that a 5 per cent reduction target is abysmally low – about the best that can be said about it is that at least it is movement in the right direction.
However, according to the White Paper, “Australia’s target range translates to a 34–41 per cent reduction in the per capita emissions of every Australian over this period.” Even this low taregt is still not going to be met just by osmosis – or an emissions trading scheme. The investment in quickly adopting low emission technology and higher energy efficiency will be the key to whether this can be done.
There’s plenty of commentary and detail elsewhere, so rather than write anymore here, I’ll just put some links to some other sites.
Crikey is liveblogging the announcement.
Some other links: Sam at Public Polity, economist John Quiggin equates the White Paper with a White Flag, George Megalogenis at his Meganomics blog unpacks the economics and equity (or not) of the ETS compensation package, Mark at LP examines the politics of ‘balance’, Robert at LP says the targets are simply to low given the reality of the science, Peter Wood at Climate Dilemma also examines the targets, Tim Lambert at Deltiod provides an easy logical shortcut to analysing the adequacy of the White Paper, Ben Eltham and Anna Rose at New Matilda stirs up a lively debate. Possum at Pollytics tries to bring some hard political numbers into the analysis.
Hugh White at The Interpreter makes what he suggests are some obvious points, followed by an obvious conclusion:
“Obvious conclusion: Australia should launch a major campaign, perhaps working with others, to design a credible, effective outcome for Copenhagen and sell it around the world.”
Jonathan Green asserts that the fact the Ben Cousins’ story is far bigger than the government’s climate change response in itself is a failure of leadership.