Sunday, September 7, 2008

Garnaut's new report

Ross Garnaut has released a supplementary report on emissions trading in Australia. He is recommending a very slow start to the program with a target of a 5% reduction on year 2000 emissions by 2020 unless a deal that includes all nations emerges from Copenhagen.

Paul Kelly notes that this takes the heat off Rudd

There are two main stories in the Garnaut report about the 2020 target. Garnaut is advising Rudd to run on two tracks: what Australia does with a comprehensive global agreement and what it does with an ongoing ad hoc post-Kyoto global compromise.

Taking the second scenario (absent any all-in global deal), Garnaut advises Rudd to settle on a 5 per cent Australian reduction by 2020. He stresses this would be consistent with reaching Rudd's non-negotiable 60 per cent reduction target by 2050.

The reason 5 per cent is the most likely target in practice is because, as Garnaut argues, there is only a chance the world will reach a comprehensive deal any time soon. Given this likely failure, Garnaut wants a modest start for Australia.

Because it is inconceivable that Rudd would choose a more ambitious target than Garnaut's, the best calculation under this scenario is that the Rudd Government will settle somewhere between zero and minus 5per cent from year 2000 levels.

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