Right numbers, questionable basis: MCA

The Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Mitchell Hooke has questioned the realistic nature of Professor Ross Garnut’s supplementary Climate Change Draft Report on ‘Targets and Trajectories’.

The Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Mitchell Hooke has questioned the realistic nature of Professor Ross Garnut’s supplementary Climate Change Draft Report on ‘Targets and Trajectories’.

According to Hooke, the draft report sets the right framework for considering Australia’s greenhouse gas reduction interim targets, but poses very difficult numbers and questionable basis for an international agreement.

“A 10% national emissions reduction target by 2020 will be extremely difficult to achieve given that it represents a 30% reduction on a “business as usual basis”. This amounts to a reduction in the order of 210 million tonnes by 2020 which is equivalent to the current emissions from Australia’s entire electricity generation sector,” Hooke said.

“Put simply, meeting this target without significant technological breakthroughs is akin to moving Australia to a “candles economy.”

The Minerals Council of Australia has consistently advocated the need for Australia’s approach to managing climate change to be a comprehensive, measured transition to a low emissions economy based on the critical alignment of the three key three policy pillars — an efficient and effective emissions trading system; a credible global agreement that covers all major emitters; and “breakthrough” technologies that can lower the emissions of existing energy sources and provide credible cost-effective alternatives.

“Without all three pillars in sync, the effects will be distorted, relatively ineffectual and a significant cost impost to Australia,” Hooke said.

“Professor Garnaut is right in that the success of Australia’s action is heavily dependent on an international agreement for a global solution. The down payment for Australia’s investment in global leadership should be both affordable and effective.

“We also agree that equivalent interim targets in other countries does not mean comparable adjustment,” he said.

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