02 December 2009

New Discussion Draft on Australian Climate Policy

After announcing earlier this week that I'd have a draft paper on Australian climate policy to share I received dozens of requests for a copy. So I have decided simply to post it for download. Some caveats -- it is a discussion draft meaning that it has not gone through peer review. I do plan to submit for publication, but right now I expect to await until February when the Australian legislature again considers the ETS. So your comments are welcome and the piece can be shared as appropriate. Here is the abstract and below that, a link to the PDF.

An Evaluation of the Targets and Timetables of the Proposed Australian Emissions Trading Scheme


This paper evaluates Australia's proposed emissions trading scheme in terms of the implied rates of decarbonization of the Australian economy for a range of proposed emissions reduction targets. The paper uses the Kaya Identity to structure the evaluation, employing both a bottom-up approach (based on projections of future Australian population, economic growth, and technology) as well as a top-down approach (deriving implied rates of decarbonization consistent with the targets and various rates of economic growth). Both approaches indicate that the Australian economy would have to achieve annual rates of decarbonization of 3.8% to 5.9% to meet a 2020 target of reducing emissions by 5%, 15% or 25% below 2000 levels, and about 5% to meet a 2050 target of a 60% reduction below 2000 levels. The paper argues that Australian carbon policy proposals present emissions reduction targets that will be all but impossible to meet without creative approaches to accounting as they would require a level of effort equivalent to the deployment of dozens of new nuclear power plants or thousands of new solar thermal plants within the next decade.

Pielke, Jr. R. A. An Evaluation of the Targets and Timetables of the Proposed Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (Discussion Draft of 2 December 2009) Download here in PDF.