Saturday, November 01, 2008

Economic Model of Carbon Trading

The Australian Government released Australia's Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation on the 30 October 2008. This reports economic modelling of the proposed cap-and-trade "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme". It finds a modest cost for the scheme. The report is deficient in not considering the impact of new technologies on climate changes. There is only one reference to the Internet: "Who at that time could have predicted developments such as the internet, containerised shipping or modern air freight?" (page 18). There are ten references to air transportation, but none to the web, ICT computers or telecommunications. This is despite research showing ICT more to greenhouse gasses than airlines.

The main report is provided in one PDF and RTF document and chapter by chapter. The full report is 292 pages in a 2.2 Mbyte PDF file. At about 8 kbytes per page, that is a reasonable size for a PDF document. But the designers could have done a better job of offering the summary material to the reader before the full report. Many web users will click on the first link of a page and in this case that will be to the 2.2 Mbyte full report. It would be better if a small web page summary was offered first.

Unfortunately the poor formatting of the document will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. An example, 80% of the "preliminaries" section of the document is taken up with high quality facsimile autographs of the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong. As well as providing a way to fake government documents, these "signatures" waste space and add nothing of value to the report.

Australia's Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation – Report 2.2MB 2.4MB
Preliminaries 188KB 1MB
Chapter 1: Context for reducing emissions 98KB 143KB
Chapter 2: Framework for analysis 207KB 435KB
Chapter 3: The reference scenario – Assumptions and projections 468KB 4.7MB
Chapter 4: Description of policy scenarios 169KB 586KB
Chapter 5: Mitigation scenarios – International results 433KB 1.7MB
Chapter 6: Mitigation scenarios – Australian results 489KB 6.4MB
Chapter 7: Key findings and future analysis 98KB 133KB
Annex A: Modelling framework 197KB 415KB
Annex B: Treasury climate change mitigation policy modelling assumptions 412KB 2.7MB
Glossary 60KB 172KB
List of Boxes, Charts and Tables 70KB 132KB

The Treasury's modelling demonstrates that early global action is less expensive than later action; that a market-based approach allows robust economic growth into the future even as emissions fall; and that many of Australia's industries will maintain or improve their competitiveness under an international agreement to combat climate change.

The modelling shows that Australia and the world continue to prosper while making the emission cuts required to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change. ...

From: Australia's Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation, 30 October 2008

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