What top Australian Climate experts say about Garnaut's Final Recommendation

Australian Government Climate Change Adviser Professor Ross Garnaut has made his final recommendation of a "10% cut on 2000 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020" (see: http://www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/pages/reports-and-papers

) .

Summarized below are the quoted views of some of Ausralia's top climate scientists re Australian Government Climate Change  Adviser  Professor Garnaut’s  2008 advice of “10% decrease on 2000 GHG level by 2020”.

1. Professor David Karoly (Federation Fellow at Melbourne University; head of the Victorian Premier's climate change advisory group; a lead author on the UN Nobel Prize-winning IPCC Panel; School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne; wants a 25-40% cut below 2000 GHG pollution level by 2020) re Australian Government Climate Change  Adviser  Professor Garnaut’s  2008 advice of “10% decrease on 2000 GHG level by 2020”:

"I thought Australia wanted to be a leader on the international scene … [a minimum 20% cut below 2000 GHG pollution level by 2020] should be done to try and encourage the other countries around the world to join in. Within Europe, that's what the emissions reductions are aiming at … I would anticipate the Government would take an even weaker approach than Garnaut, which is going to essentially be no change whatsoever" (see “The Age”: http://www.theage.com.au/national/garnaut-is-wrong-say-scientists-20080908-4c9l.html?page=-1 ).

2. Dr Bill Hare (based at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; an author with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); wants a 25-40% cut below 2000 GHG pollution by 2020), re Australian Government Climate Change Adviser Professor Garnaut’s recommendation of “10% cut on 2000 GHG pollution level by 2020”, 2008: “Ross Garnaut's report is effectively putting off the cost of climate change to another generation, who will have to deal with a three-degree rise in temperature as well as sucking carbon dioxide out of the air … It has failed to face up to this risk issue - in some ways it has dodged the bullet. As a highly vulnerable country, I would have thought it would have been better for Australia to be going forward with a more aggressive position" (see “The Age”: http://www.theage.com.au/national/garnaut-is-wrong-say-scientists-20080908-4c9l.html?page=-1 ).

3. Professor Amanda Lynch (a Federation Fellow at Monash University; an author with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); wants a 25-40% cut below 2000 GHG pollution by 2020) re Australian Government Climate Change Adviser Professor Garnaut’s recommendation of “10% cut below 2000 GHG pollution level by 2020”: "I think they will take it as another piece of evidence that Australia is not really interested in walking the walk …How much is it worth to us to have a Great Barrier Reef? How much is it worth to us to be self-sufficient in food? These are the sort of things where setting a value on it are quite challenging, and he largely skirted those issues" (see “The Age”: http://www.theage.com.au/national/garnaut-is-wrong-say-scientists-20080908-4c9l.html?page=-1 ).

Footnote from editor re Garnaut Recommendation and what it actually means - an over 50% INCREASE by 2020 in Australia’s total Domestic plus Exported fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution:

Professor Garnaut admits to the acute seriousness of global warming but his prescription of ”10% off 2000 Domestic CO2 pollution by 2020” in actuality means a 52% INCREASE in Australia’s total Domestic plus Exported fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution and is a recipe for global and Australian disaster.

 

In brief, the official US Energy Information Administration (see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/ ) provides detailed data for over  the last decade of Australian fossil fuel-derived Domestic, Exported and Total CO2 pollution that, for example, were  352, 348 and 700 millions of tonnes CO2 (Mt CO2) in 2000.

 

If you plot this data versus time you obtain 3 beautiful straight lines that on extrapolation yield values of Australian Domestic, Exported and Total CO2 pollution of 540, 750 and 1,290 Mt CO2  in 2020 (i.e. the "business as usual" projection).

 

However Professor Garnaut’s  recommendation of essentially “10% off 2000 Domestic CO2 pollution by 2020” in actual reality means Domestic, Exported and Total CO2 pollution of 317, 750 and 1,067 Mt CO2 .in 2020 - an INCREASE by 2020 of 52% on the 2000 value of Total Australian fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution.

 

The Garnaut Climate Change Interim Report (see: http://www.garnautreview.org.au/domino/Web_Notes/Garnaut/garnautweb.nsf )

ignored Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution; land use, waste and agricultural sources of greenhouse gases; and the immense cost of the estimated 5,000 Australians who die each year from the effects of pollutants from coal burning-based power (for detailed critique via the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group see: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/critical-scientific-review-of-badly-flawed-australian-garnaut-climate-change-review  ).

For the convenience of readers, below are data taken from the official US Energy Information Administration as a primary source (see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/ ) (the conversions used to translate the US EIA Australia-specific  data (see: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm

) are 1 short ton = 0.9072 metric tonnes (Mt) ; Australia's 52.36 Mt of natural gas-derived CO2 in 2004 derived from the 931.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas consumed domestically; 1 tonne of carbon yields 44/12 (atomic weight of C =12, molecular weight of CO2 is about  44) = 3.67 tonne CO2; it was assumed from literature data that 1 tonne of coal yields 3.67/2 = 1.83 tonnes of CO2 ). Population data are from interpolation of plotted data from the UN Population Division; extrapolation yields an estimated 2020 population of 23.6 million (see: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ ) .

Australian Domestic and Exported fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (millions of tonnes, Mt) for the period 1997-2006:

1. Exported Gas:

19.0 (1997), 19.4 (1998), 20.1 (1999), 20.3 (2000), 19.3 (2001), 19.5 (2002), 20.1 (2003), 21.1 (2004), 26.7 (2005).

2. Exported Coal:

273.4 (1997), 297.3 (1998), 299.0 (1999), 327.4 (2000), 368.4 (2001), 384.1 (2002), 389.4 (2003), 405.9 (2004), 424.8 (2005), 436.9 (2006).

3. Exported (total i.e. 1 + 2):

292.4 (1997), 316.7 (1998), 319.1 (1999), 347.7 (2000), 387.7 (2001), 403.6 (2002), 409.5 (2003), 427.0 (2004), 451.5 (2005).

4. Domestic:

327.4 (1997), 333.6 (1998), 351.4 (1999), 352.6 (2000), 366.7 (2001), 374.6 (2002), 375.3 (2003), 381.2 (2004), 406.6 (2005).

 5. Total Domestic plus Exported CO2 pollution (i.e. 3 + 4): 

619.8 (1997), 650.3 (1998), 670.5 (1999), 700.3 (2000), 754.4 (2001), 778.2 (2002), 784.8 (2003), 808.2 (2004), 858.1 (2005).

6. Australian population (millions):

18.1 (1997), 18.5 (1998), 18.8 (1999), 19.1 (2000), 19.4 (2001), 19.6 (2002), 19.8 (2003), 20.0 (2004), 20.3 (2005), 23.6 (2020).

7. Australian "total annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution" (i.e. 5/6; tonnes CO2 per person per year): 

34.2 (1997), 35.2 (1998), 35.7 (1999), 36.7 (2000), 38.9 (2001), 39.7 (2002), 39.6 (2003), 40.4 (2004), 42.3 (2005), 54.7 (2020 "business as usual"), 45.2 (2020, with Garnaut's "10% off 2000 CO2 emissions by 2020").

It is very sad to note that these data are absolutely crucial to any sensible consideration of Australia's contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution of the common atmosphere of the Earth but are largely avoided in public discussion in Australia about Australia's contribution to anthropogenic climate change.

Here are some US EIA comparative data for "total annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution"(tonnes CO2 per person per year)  in 2005 for some key Regions and Countries  (see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/ ): 

North America (16.1), Central and South America (2.5), Europe (7.9), Eurasia (9.0), Middle East (7.9), Africa (1.2), Asia and Oceania (1.6), the World (4.1) - as compared to Australia (20.2 or 42.3 if our Exported CO2 pollution is included), the US (20.1), Canada (19.2), Russia (11.9), Germany and South Korea (10.2), Japan (9.7), Spain and South Africa (9.6), New Zealand (9.4), Italy (8.0), the UK (7.9), Poland (7.4), Ukraine (7.3), Iran (7.0), France (6.6), Malysia and Sweden (6.5), Venezuela (6.0),   China (4.1),  Mexico (3.8), Argentina (3.7), Turkey (3.3), Thailand (3.0), Egypt (2.1), Brazil (1.9), Fiji (1.5), India (1.1), Philippines (0.9), Nigeria and Pakistan (0.8), Kiribati and Bangladesh (0.3). [The special cases of oil-rich desert states are Bahrain (36.6), Kuwait (32.8), Qatar 61.9), Saudi Arabia (15.6) and United Arab Emirates (33.7)].

Is Australia pulling its weight in the Climate Emergency and does it have any evident intention of doing so?




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