Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The climate debate in Australia has descended into farce, as desperate green sympathisers try to maintain the impression that the world cares about CO2.
Withdrawing from the Paris agreement makes no economic sense
Mon 9 Jul 2018 13.48 AEST
Those who advocate for leaving Paris are economically, environmentally and socially irresponsible
Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is not an option for Australia, unless we want to suffer severe economic consequences as a result.
Australia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and it is in our national interest to support effective global action. The Paris agreement sets a common multilateral platform that allows for domestic flexibility to make contributions to emissions reductions acknowledging the scale of the challenge is greater than any one country’s capacity to act.
As our domestic policy settings will inevitably tighten, Australia’s large-emitting businesses will want access to international permits and conversely our world class domestic offset market will want to export credits to a world short in supply. Accelerated clean energy and technology transfer and climate finance will also be part of expanded trade-related rules stemming from the Paris rulebook.
Despite the mis-truths espoused regularly by some conservative politicians and parts of the Australian media, rapid developments are taking place in India and China to transform their economies and meet their increasingly ambitious climate change commitments. Our exports sit in the supply chain of global markets, where there is increasingly an explicit price on carbon. We don’t want to be locked out of these markets, or worse, penalised through trade and economic sanctions if Australia is seen to be out of alignment with global developments.
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, … went on to say, “The global low emissions economy is estimated to be worth around $6tn and is growing at some 4-5% per annum. We believe that through the use of technology and research and science and innovation, there will be many opportunities for Australian businesses, Australian jobs in a low emissions economy.”
Peter Castellas is CEO of the Carbon Market Institute
What I don’t get is why “tightening policy settings” seem to be required to develop these alleged international carbon market opportunities. Australia contributes an estimated 1.8% of global CO2 emissions. Couldn’t countries like Australia and the USA sell carbon credits to overseas buyers without enforcing CO2 restrictions at home? Or are Australian and US carbon credits only valuable if they are produced by suppliers who are subject to carbon taxes? Surely the planet doesn’t care whether all those carbon credit trees are grown in states or countries which enforce carbon taxes?