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Labor's greenhouse aspirations

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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2017 by Birrell, Bob, Healy, Ernest
The Labor government aspires to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent on year 2000 levels. Is this a realistic commitment? The issue is explored in the context of likely population growth in Australia from 21 million to 31.6 million by 2050. The population factor is ignored by the Garnaut Climate Change Review. Yet this article calculates that the energy required to provide for the material needs of the additional population will (in the absence of intervention) lead to a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In consequence, in order to achieve the 60 per cent reduction target, the price level for permits under the emission trading scheme proposed by Garnaut will have to be very high. It is doubtful whether these prices will be politically acceptable. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s


Date originally published



People and place, vol. 16, no. 2 (2008), p. 1-15. ISSN 1039-4788