Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Archive for July 12th, 2011

The Clean Energy Package risk perception paradox

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This post concentrates on the paradox between the perception of climate change as a risk and opposition to carbon taxes. How the clean energy package is framed and communicated is just as important as the policy initiatives it contains.

The Clean Energy Package does not communicate to Australians the full benefits of reducing their emissions. It uses the standard method of saying the CAP will mitigate serious climate impacts:

This plan has been devised in response to clear scientific advice that the world is warming, that carbon pollution from human activity creates significant risks and that we can avoid the worst potential impacts by reducing carbon pollution.

Taking action on climate change is in our national interest. Australia faces acute risks from climate change. Faced with the serious  negative consequences for our natural systems (including national icons like the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu), our economy and our way of life, it would be irresponsible not to play our part in international action on climate change. Taking action sooner rather than later means that the transition to a clean energy future can be more gradual, manageable and affordable. Treasury  modelling shows that, for economies like Australia, deferring action will only lead to higher long-term costs.

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Written by Roger Jones

July 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm