Friday, November 27, 2009

Turnbull digs and backs the corrupted CPRS

While watching Malcolm Turnbull back the losing CPRS and the Liberal Party climate change denialists go for his scalp may be bloodsport for some, the "debate" needs to be re-framed to actually reducing emissions.

Here is a profile that illustrates a possible emission reduction trajectory to reach zero emissions by 2050.

It is interesting to compare the emission reductions projected above with the recent historical emissions of various countries.

  • The United States has the highest per capital emissions in the world
  • Australia is among the top three in the world, and emissions have increased dramatically over the last two decades
  • Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have all achieved emission reductions and have half (or less) of Australia's emissions
  • China's per capita emissions have increased, but are still less than one quarter of Australia's
  • India and Costa Rica have about one tenth of Australia's per capita emissions.

Source: Australian emission reductions projected, Greenlivingpedia


Anonymous said...

The problem is that the man in the street believes that because Australia is a small part of the total emissions that it can do little to help compared to india and china I think per capital needs to be represented against total. People do not understand the cprs well enough to say if they agree or disagree the explanations are not clear and succinct nor are the alternatives it is one thing to again reiterate the problems but people need to understand the alternatives and why they will or will not work thepu l
public can only support something if the understand how it came about and how theycan choose or politicians of all sides will continue to be wordsmiths with the truth
sue king

Peter Campbell said...

Sue, I think that the CPRS is deliberately complicated to confuse the general public. Garnaut stated in his final report that "a compromised ETS would be inferior to a simple carbon tax".

People understand taxes, and take real action to avoid them. If the price of electricity goes up there will be incentive to use less. Lower income households can be compensated by a concession.

The time has come to ditch emissions trading and bring in a simple carbon tax $50 per tonne, with no special exemptions or exclusions.

I think per capita emission figures should be the focus rather than total emissions - this puts everyone on an equal footing - and means countries like Australia must make deeper cuts. We should because we use too much fossil fuels.