Shortcomings of report

Australian Financial Review

7th June 2007


While the Emissions Trading report makes some valuable points about global warming, it has two very important defects.


First, it implicitly accepts there is a scientific consensus that human activity has caused global warming. But although most scientists do endorse the latter view, the notion of a consensus is a myth and the list of well-qualified dissenters is not small. It includes a number of Australian scientists. The government needs to publish a document outlining the pros and cons of the science.


Second, the report is wrong in supposing that imposing an emissions cap here in Australia, before any effective global agreement, will increase business and investment certainty. The proposal for a "long term aspirational goal and a trajectory to achieve that goal" clearly indicates that any such goal will be a shifting one and will decrease certainty compared with a business as usual approach until global agreement is reached.