10 thoughts on “From Montreal to Lima

  1. Minor factual errors:

    “US–China agreement announced at the G20 meeting in Brisbane”

    It was in Beijing on 11 November, not at the G20.

    “Copenhagen meeting of 2010”

    Copenhagen was 7 – 18 December 2009.

  2. Very nice summary thanks john.

    The only thing I’m not clear on is the basis for believing these negotiations will lead somewhere or whether this could have been labelled Peace in our time Act 2. Its not that I am cynical but rather the forces opposed to action are so strong implacable and rigid. And they aren’t only human ones but the biophysical realities. So partial progress with a view to further negotiation will not be enough unlike the cold war where time did win out.

    A related issue I would raise is whether there is significant change on the zombie economics front.

    If there had been I would say there is also hope on the climate change action front as it would suggest a return to a deeper rationality.

  3. JQ, be watchful that as an economist you don’t go down the road of NPWS ecologists who, finding themselves unable to stop species loss, have contented themselves keeping an immaculate bureaucratic record of the process.

    A realistic alternative appraisal would be to utter the words ‘Aux armes, citoyens.’

  4. Australia can still be an effective agent of delay. The Climate Change Authority says the ERF is unlikely to meet even the modest 5% target by 2020, and that the deadline should be pushed out another 3 years. WTF?? If we aren’t likely to meet the target, surely the thing to do is to increase the rate of reduction, so that we do meet the deadline, on target and on time. If the CCA thinks, heck, why not just the already ridiculously low bar by moving the deadline out, then I doubt the government is going to say no, we will make a bigger effort to meet the existing deadline.

    Secondly, Mr Macfarlane has belatedly had “Science” tacked onto his ministerial portfolio’s title; this no doubt gives him ample justification for turning up to the Lima bafflegabfest, creating the very real prospect of him and Andrew Robb being our negotiators (with Bishop sent to attend something else at last minute, a foreign affairs thingy, and Hunt won’t even get a plane ticket).

    Colour me cynical, but I’ve seen more than enough of their sneaky tricks. If we manage to avoid being a wrecking ball, I’ll be happy to call that a result.

  5. @Donald Oats

    I should say that I’m a member of the CCA. You’re confusing two separate issues here

    The 3-year delay recommendation refers to the Renewable Energy Target of 41 000 GWh, not to the 2020 emissions target, where we recommended 19 per cent below 2000 levels (15 per cent + a carryover from the Kyoto period).

  6. Okay, I’ve re-read the news articles on this, and maybe I am confused.

    My understanding is that Australia has agreed to an overall 5% GHG emissions reduction target, to be met by 2020, where the baseline year for comparison is 2000. I further understand, from the news stories, that the CCA has performed two statutory reviews, one into the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), of which the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is the funding source; the other review was into the Renewable Energy Target (RET), to be met by 2020, with the RET set at 41,000GWh p.a.—that’s my understanding.

    The ERF support for CFI, and the RET support for a viable renewable energy sector, are two separate methods for reducing GHG emissions: therefore, the overall target of 5% GHG emissions reduction by 2020 relies on some combination of the two, plus other methods not considered in the two reviews.

    If I read the articles correctly, the CCA has found that in the case of the RET, the high level of business uncertainty has deleteriously affected the renewable energy sector, and whether we will be able to reach the current 41,000GWh target by 2020 or not; hence the recommendation to extend the deadline by another 3 years. Virtually all of the business uncertainty is a direct consequence of the Liberal/National Party’s actions since coming to power in Sep 2013.

    So, if we are to have a good prospect of meeting the 5% GHG emission target by 2020, we look to the CFI, supported by the cash in the ERF. This brings us to the CCA’s other review: the ERF, in its current form, is unlikely to see us meeting the target by 2020.

    Taking those two issues and the consequences, I read it as saying the CCA are suggesting the government extend the 5% GHG emission reduction target by another three years, instead of urging the government to buckle up and to work harder at making the target by 2020, as originally agreed. So, yes, there are two separate issues here—however, they interact, in that if CFI is wildly successful, the RET becomes less important in ensuring we make the 5% GHG emissions reduction; if the RET is met earlier than 2020, then CFI is relatively less important. But—a big but—the two separate statutory reviews conclude that neither the CFI (as supported by the ERF in its current form) or the RET are going to make their individual targets.

    Or am I hopelessly muddled here? [It wouldn’t be the first time 😦 ]

  7. Mathias Corman claims the drop in carbon emissions over the last year is because of below trend economic growth, and that it wasn’t because of the Carbon Tax (as they like to refer to it). There is so much to deconstruct in this one statement!

    By claiming it was below trend economic growth and not the carbon tax which was the cause of a drop in carbon emissions, Corman is saying that the carbon tax had no effect on the economy (i.e. wasn’t a factor in the below trend growth), that the below trend growth was due to other causes, and that a (slightly slower) growing economy can cause an actual negative change to our annual carbon emissions, rather than just reducing the rate of increase. Surely that requires further explanation than Corman has provided. Surely a journalist will interrogate him on this. Surely the moon is made of cheese.

    No wonder these lifters don’t trust science: they don’t even understand such basics as addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. Guess God didn’t lay down the rules for arithmetic, so therefore they don’t count 🙂

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