On climate, IGR barely covers four years let alone forty and fails key tests Media Release

Mar 05, 2015 - 1:32pm

Today’s Intergenerational Report highlights the inadequacy of current climate policy that has little effectiveness for four years ahead let alone 40, said The Climate Institute which earlier this week released five key climate credibility tests for an IGR.

“When it comes to climate change, this Intergenerational Report barely addresses challenges for this generation let alone the next. It contains no projections of policy outcomes, no projections of the costs of climate impacts, and no recognition of the need to achieve a net zero emissions economy by mid-century,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

“The report also fails to mention the fiscal impact of using taxpayer funds under the Emissions Reduction Fund and the loss of the revenue previously generated from the carbon laws- an impact previously estimated at $24 billion to 2020 alone.”

“While we welcome that the report acknowledges the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels, we think that it is reckless that the report fails to acknowledge the economic challenges and opportunities for Australia in doing its fair share to help achieve that goal.”

“And while the IGR refers to analysis by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO that climate change is already affecting Australia, it provides only a passing reference to future costs and impacts. It ignores the ominous forecasts these agencies provided in January’s release of Australia’s Climate Challenge report.”

Connor added: "A sensible plan would have laid out how we can help avoid 2°C warming and include a decarbonisation pathway to phase down our emissions to zero by mid-century. It would have highlighted how the costs of action and inaction are integrated in decision making and would be assessing systemic risks."

“These calls are now increasingly mainstream and being echoed around the world by financial, prudential and investment leaders, but not here.”

“The World Bank and OECD have highlighted the enormous economic and social costs of warming beyond 2°C and have called for a zero emissions global economy. Leading industrialists and CEOs are pushing for this to be achieved by 2050. The Bank of England is stepping up its examination of climate related systemic risk.”

Earlier this week, The Climate Institute Research Brief laid out five key areas that an effective IGR would include if it took climate change seriously:
1. Projections of Australian emissions to 2055 under current policies.
2. A carbon budget and emissions pathway to net zero emissions, consistent with Australia’s fair contribution to the internationally agreed goal to avoid 2°C of warming.
3. Estimates of the economic cost of climate impacts and application of these in decision making.
4. Estimates of the impacts and costs to Australia of potential climate change scenarios.
5. Evaluation of risks of financial system contagion from climate-related impacts.

“This report fails all of these tests and lurches back from the 2010 report, which included a chapter on climate change with detailed projections of policy effort and climate costs. "

For more information

Kristina Stefanova ● Communications Director, The Climate Institute ● 02 8239 6299 

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