Monday, March 30, 2009

Senate Submissions on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

The Australian Senate Economics Committee has published the 40 submissions received so far for the Inquiry into the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Here is a copy of my submission (which was Number 7) followed by a list of the other submissions:

Submission to Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Inquiry

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

18 March 2009

This is in response to the invitation for submissions to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Inquiry [1]. It is inadequate to aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to between 5% and 15% below 2000 levels by 2020, as detailed in the Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill [2]. The bill should be changed to aim for a 25% to 50% per cent reduction, as advised by IPCC scientists [3].

A reduction of 15% can be delivered just by the use of more effective use of computers and telecommunications (ICT) [4]. Better ICT can reduce energy use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time lowering costs. As an example, the Australian Government is planning to replace interstate travel for some meetings with high-definition video teleconferencing [5].

As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, the use of teleconferences will reduce the cost of airfares. This process of "dematerialisation" is a technique covered in a course I have been teaching to postgraduate ICT students [6].

The Green ICT course was commissioned by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and is conducted online via the web [7]. A Masters level version of the course is planned to commence at the Australian National University in mid 2009.


Tom Worthington is the Chair of the ACS Green ICT Special Interest Group and is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer, for the Australian National University Masters course in Green ICT. However, this submission is made in a person capacity and does not necessarily represent the views of the ACS or ANU.


1: Senate Standing Committee on Economics, Inquiry into the exposure drafts of the legislation to implement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, 2009,

2: Australian Government, Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill, 2009,

3: ABC News, Scientists call for stronger emissions targets, 2008,

4: The Climate Group , SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, 2008,

5: Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Australian Government signs teleconferencing deal with Telstra and Cisco, 2009,

6: Tom Worthington, Enabling ICT to reduce energy and materials use, 2009,

7: Australian Computer Society, Green ICT Strategies Course Outline, 2008,

Submissions received by the Committee as at 26 March 2009

  • 1 Professor Joshua Gans (PDF 456KB)
  • 2 The committee received correspondence to its inquiry in the form of standard letters. An example of the letter is attached (PDF 44KB). These were recieved from: Mr Ray Gomerski; Mr Ian Addison; Mr William Shumack; Mr Peter Micenko; Ms Dora Ulgade; Sinclair Knight Merz; Ms Chloe Mason
  • 3 Olivier La Mer Adair (PDF 35KB)
  • 4 Alix Turner (PDF 116KB)
  • 5 Dr Gideon Polya (PDF 351KB)
  • 6 Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA) (PDF 196KB)
  • 7 Mr Tom Worthington (PDF 26KB)
  • 8 CRC for Rail Innovation (PDF 45KB)
  • 9 Association of Tourist Railways Queensland (ATRQ) (PDF 46KB)
  • 11 Griffin Energy (PDF 67KB)
  • 12 Mr Simon Corbell MLA, ACT Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water (PDF 168KB)
  • 13 CITIC Pacific Mining Management Pty Ltd (PDF 165KB)
  • 14 Cement Industry Federation (PDF 77KB)
  • 15 Ian McGregor, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) (PDF 121KB)
  • 16 Dr Chloe Mason (PDF 63KB)
  • 17 Mr Des Moore (PDF 741KB)
  • 18 Dr Klaus Weber (PDF 12KB)
  • 19 Dr David Tranter OAM (PDF 17KB)
  • 20 Mr Andrew Farran (PDF 15KB)
  • 21 Energy Supply Association of Australia (PDF 1731KB)
  • 22 Mr David Kault (PDF 9KB)
  • 23 Quintessence (PDF 98KB)
  • 24 Dr Judith Ajani, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University (PDF 92KB)
  • 25 Dr Geoffrey Davies, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University (PDF 117KB)
  • 26 Climate Action Canberra (PDF 22KB)
  • 27 Australian Workers' Union (PDF 132KB)
  • 28 Carbon Sense Coalition (PDF 215KB)
  • 29 Mr Gerard De Ruyter (PDF 12KB)
  • 30 Australian Geothermal Energy Association (PDF 155KB); Attachment A (PDF 97KB); Attachment B (PDF 755KB)
  • 31 Mr David Bath (PDF 71KB)
  • 32 Mr Ian Dunlop (PDF 100KB)
  • 33 Mr Barry Brook and Mr Tim Kelly (PDF 175KB)
  • 34 Dr Andrew Glikson, Research School of Earth Science and School of Archaeology and Anthropology, The
    Australian National University (PDF 648KB)
  • 35 Locals Into Victoria's Environment (PDF 288KB)
  • 36 Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (PDF 51KB)
  • 37 Housing Industry Association (PDF 47KB)
  • 38 Australian Ethical Investment (PDF 115KB)
  • 39 Energy Networks Association (PDF 96KB)
  • 40 Chevron Australia (PDF 54KB)

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