Monday, April 30, 2007

Inspired. Labor hires Garnaut to conduct Australia's Stern review.

Here's the press release:



Federal Labor and the States and Territories have today commissioned the Garnaut Climate Change Review to examine the costs of inaction and impact of climate change on the Australian economy and jobs.

The Garnaut Climate Change Review - the equivalent of the UK Stern Review - will focus on economic opportunities for Australia to become a regional hub for the technologies and industries associated with low carbon emissions.

Federal Labor has repeatedly called on the Howard Government to undertake such a review...

Federal Labor announced at the Climate Change Summit in Canberra in March this year that it would undertake such a review.

Following the rejection by the Federal Government, the States and Territories together with Federal Labor will undertake this review.

The Review will be conducted by ANU Economics Professor and former Ambassador to China, Professor Ross Garnaut.

Professor Garnaut has agreed to head this Review. This Review will commence next month and will be conducted in collaboration with the States and Territories – which will provide resources for it.

A draft Report is to be distributed for comment by 30 June, 2008. The final Report is to be completed and published by 30 September, 2008.

Federal Labor today released the terms of reference (attached) for the Garnaut Review.

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change was published on 30 October, 2006.

That review, which reported to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service and former World Bank Chief Economist.

Federal Labor met with Sir Nicholas Stern on 28 March, 2007.
The Stern Report to the British Government sent a clear warning that left unchecked, climate change will have catastrophic economic consequences.

The Garnaut Climate Change Review builds on Federal Labor’s comprehensive approach to dealing with climate change.

Other Federal Labor measures on climate change include:

· Setting up a national emissions trading scheme;

· Setting up the $500 million National Clean Coal Fund;

· Low interest rate loans to help make existing homes greener and more energy and water efficient – Federal Labor’s $300 million Solar, Green Energy, and Water Renovations Plan for households is a practical way for Australian families to make a real difference on climate change;

· Funding the $50 million Solar Home Power Plan, allowing about 12,000 Australian households to install solar panels;

· Setting up a $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund designed to generate $2 billion to secure jobs in the automotive industry and tackle climate change by manufacturing low emission vehicles in Australia;

· Substantially increasing the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target;

· Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol;

· Cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent on 2000 levels by 2050;

· Establishing a Diplomatic Initiative with China – sending a delegation of Labor Shadow Ministers and leaders from science and business to China;

· Set a target of making half of all Commonwealth cars in its fleet environmentally friendly by 2020; and

· Establishing an Office of Climate Change within the Prime Minister’s Department.



To report to the Governments of the eight States and Territories of Australia, and if invited to do so, to the Prime Minister of Australia, on:

1. The likely effect of human induced climate change on Australia’s economy, environment, and water resources in the absence of effective national and international efforts to substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions;

2. The possible ameliorating effects of international policy reform on climate change, and the costs and benefits of various international and Australian policy interventions on Australian economic activity;

3. The role that Australia can play in the development and implementation of effective international policies on climate change; and

4. In the light of 1 to 3, recommend medium to long-term policy options for Australia, and the time path for their implementation which, taking the costs and benefits of domestic and international policies on climate change into account, will produce the best possible outcomes for Australia.

In making these recommendations, the Review will consider policies that: mitigate climate change, reduce the costs of adjustment to climate change (including through the acceleration of technological change in supply and use of energy), and reduce any adverse effects of climate change and mitigating policy responses on Australian incomes.

This Review should take into account the following core factors:

· The regional, sectoral and distributional implications of climate change and policies to mitigate climate change;

· The economic and strategic opportunities for Australia from playing a leading role in our region's shift to a more carbon-efficient economy, including the potential for Australia to become a regional hub for the technologies and industries associated with global movement to low carbon emissions; and

· The costs and benefits of Australia taking significant action to mitigate climate change ahead of competitor nations; and

· The weight of scientific opinion that developed countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050 against 2000 emission levels, if global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are to be stabilised to between 450�and 550ppm by mid century.

Consult with key stakeholders to understand views and inform analysis.

A draft Report is to be distributed for comment by June 30 2008. The final Report is to be completed and published by September 30 2008.

Interim draft reports on particular issues may be released before that time for public discussion.

The Report will embody the independent judgments of its author.