Federal Treasurer (or should that be Minister for Courage?) Peter Costello had something to say about energy policy today:
Blah blah blah snore. But what really caught my eye was this paragraph...
Rapid industrialisation in key emerging market economies provides Australia with an unprecedented opportunity to build an energy freeway, linking Australia with Asia — and the world.
The supply of minerals and energy at globally competitive prices, down this freeway, supplied under long term contracts with security of supply and continuity of demand will underpin mutual advantage for suppliers and users.
To build this freeway means we must create open and efficient energy markets, remove impediments to exploration and development, promote energy-conserving technological change and — at the national level — put in place sound regulatory and policy frameworks which encourage trade both within Australia and internationally.
Achieving this goal will provide a powerful spur for development and sustainable growth in our region — to Australia’s long-term benefit.
Greenhouse gas emissionsEarth to Pete. Its easy to meet your Kyoto targets when you negotiate a target that is an 8% increase over 1990 levels that is almost completely met by a reduction in land clearing. I think this table from the Australian Greenhouse Office report on emission trends tells the real story:
The final topic to address this evening regards the environment.
Global warming is a phenomenon that the Australian Government has recognised and is taking steps to address.
Because it is a global phenomenon any effective action requires international action to address, and Australia has to date more than met the Kyoto targets on greenhouse gas emissions.
The key weakness of Kyoto though was that it didn’t include major developing countries like China and India.
Australia’s total emissions are 1.5 per cent of global emissions. If Australia shut down all its power stations today, the saving in emissions would be replaced by China by the time of next year’s Grand Final. China adds the total of all Australian emissions each eleven months.
Australia played a key role in bringing together for the first time China and India, along with the US, Japan, South Korea and ourselves to form the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate – known as the AP6.
Australia has committed $100 million to this practical initiative, one of its main goals being to foster the development and deployment of clean technologies to address the climate change challenge, while encouraging growth and development.
Domestically, the Australian Government is supporting the ongoing innovation and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies through the $100 million Renewable Energy Development Initiative and the $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund to help the private sector demonstrate clean fossil and renewable technologies.
My view is that as the hottest and driest continent on earth, we have an interest in not making Australia hotter or drier.
Our energy policy must strike an appropriate balance between our environmental responsibilities and continuing economic growth.
Can anyone spot where the big emission cuts are coming from? Anyone? Is it Transport? Industry? Oh I see ... "Land Use". So basically we've done absolutely sweet FA to reduce emissions apart from chopping down fewer trees.
BTW, thanks for reminding me that Australia represents 1.5 per cent of global emissions. I think its been at least three hours since a Howard Government minister reminded me of that fact.
And I'm glad to see you've committed $100 million to the problem, well, a bit of greenwashing and PR anyway. Problem is Pete THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING HUMANITY. $100 billion would be more like it.