The Garnaut Review draft report has just come out. The site is clogged, but I’ve managed to get a copy of the report and press release (I’ve attached the latter here.
There’s a lot of discussion of the Murray Darling Basin where the worst-case projections are about as grim as they can possibly be. My UQ research group (Risk and Sustainable Management Group) did the economic modelling that translated the climatic projections into predicted changes in land and water use. There are big adverse impacts under most of the ‘business as usual’ scenarios. On the other hand, in the projections where CO2 concentrations are held to 450 ppm things aren’t bad, and even 550 ppm would still allow irrigation to continue.
More soon on the policy recommendations. Whether or not the government ultimately follows Garnaut’s proposed model, there’s no doubt that the Review has shifted the terms of debate substantially. Those (like the Federal Opposition) who are tempted to play the issue for short-term political gain will pay a big price in the end if they succumb to that temptation.