A CCA report recommends cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2025 based on Australia’s emissions from the year 2000.
This would require significant emissions cuts beyond the current 2020 target of 5 per cent.
Okay – so how much is that going to cost?
As noted earlier, the Authority is not in a position to prepare meaningful estimates of the costs of meeting its recommended target, primarily because many of these costs will depend on the policies adopted.
Wow. Really wow. Let’s adopt a policy even though we have absolutely no idea how much it will cost.
So how did the Climate Change Authority come up with its recommendation?
The recommended 2030 range appears consistent with international benchmarks of the action required to limit warming to 2 degrees. Höhne et al. (Höhne et al. 2014), for example, reviewed over 40 studies of global emissions reduction pathways.
They follow a single survey article that reviewed 40 other articles. So I went and had a look at that article. Of the 40 studies that they reviewed, only 4 refer to “Cost-effectiveness” and none of those 4 include Australia.
Update: John Quiggin of the CCA responds here:
Since we don’t know what policy this, or a future government, might adopt, we can’t estimate the cost. So, to rephrase Davidson “Let’s propose a target even though we don’t know how the government, should they adopt it, will choose to achieve it”. That is, of course, exactly what the government asked the CCA to do in this report.