Dr Adrian Blundell-Wignall is a former senior RBA official and was the Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Financial Markets and Enterprise Affairs.
But writing the AFR this morning, Dr Blundell-Wignall (for a doctor he is) suggests that while Australia only contributes 1.3% of global emissions, based on data he has seen:
Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and smaller island states) accounts for 5.9 per cent of the relevant global loss-events related to climate change – disproportionate compared to our 1.3 per cent CO2.
Translated – while Australia contributes 1.3% of emissions, Australia will experience 5.9% of projected global loss events.
Scarey numbers. But what Dr Blundell-Wignall fails to identify is what is the financial impact of this 5.9% of projected losses? And also, what is the financial cost of reducing Australia’s 1.3% to nil. You know – a basic cost-benefit analysis?
But interestingly, Dr Blundell-Wignall also says:
Mere annual increases in China’s CO2 emissions account for another Australia about every 13 months.
So. Australia must act because boogey boogey boogey . Scary scary scary.
But never let an economist leave it at that. Dr Blundell-Wignall adds:
As it stands, Australia is regarded with disdain on the global stage for using clever arithmetic while leaving emissions untouched. At the same time, we busily promote and subsidise the sale of coal to developing countries while stating, cynically, that it is not Australia’s place to lecture them.
Yes. Those would be unemployed miners and manufacturing works will be really concerned about Australia’s stand on the global stage, and the inability of Dr Blundell-Wignall to get into the best UN, OECD and EU cocktail parties.
And yes, those developing countries who seek to develop need to stop so Dr Blundell-Wignall and his peers can continue to fly to Davos.