Australias Co2 Reduction Targets By J Bremer

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  • 1. Australias CO2 Reduction Targets Infrastructure, the ETS and its Alternatives Presentation to Engineers Australia, Perth 2010 J. Bremer 24 February 2010 SUSTAINABILITY our people, our clients, our planet SKM Sustainability Group
  • 2. Outline The role of engineering in the battle for ideas. CO2 emissions and climate science as an example. > The Targets (s) o Summary of CO2 emissions problem o The science o The ideas - Carbon trading How it Works > The Engineering Approach o The engineering approach the problem. Sources of CO2 emissions Technology and Processes > Consequences & Conclusions o Changes to Infrastructure Australia and Internationally o Costs, and economic implications. The future. SKM Sustainability Group
  • 3. Extra Carbon Flows from Burning Fossil Fuels CO2 levels have increased sharply in the 20th century. (From 280 ppm to 380 ppm) Source : 4th IPCC Report 2007 Source : D.MacKay Sustainability without The Hot Air SKM Sustainability Group
  • 4. Greenhouse Gas Levels Greenhouse gases exist in minute concentrations but have an essential role supporting life. In the absence of approximately .02% to .03% (200 ppm to 300 ppm) concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere the surface mean temperature of the globe would be -18 C. (Peixoto, J.P. and Oort, A.H., Physics of Climate Springer, 1992, p. 118.) If CO2 reached 1% the surface temperature would be > 100 deg C our oceans would boil. (Explained by Arrhenius in 1896) SKM Sustainability Group
  • 5. IPCC Estimates of Outcomes Garnaut, Govt target of 550 ppm CO2-e Recommended safe level IPCC, Garnaut, Govt. Source : 4th IPCC Report 2007 SKM Sustainability Group
  • 6. IPCC Estimates of Outcomes Source : 4th IPCC Report 2007 SKM Sustainability Group
  • 7. Changing Economic Behaviour There are perhaps six ways that governments fix/intervene or influence economic behaviour 1. Government takes over the market entirely e.g. Communism / Socialism. We are from the government and know what is good for you e.g. China! 2. Government Participation in markets E.g. Nationalisation or share holdings in major infrastructure industries 3. Criminal code E.g. Insider trading laws, to prevent distortion of share markets. 4. Behaviour Change Moral/Social/ Religious incentives. E.g. Be a good citizen, Waterwise campaign, Your litter is OUR problem etc. 5. Incentives Government Grants E.g. R&D grants, Renewable energy grants 6. Incentives and Disincentives Through Taxation E.g. We tax income but not investment. R&D has larger tax deductions. SKM Sustainability Group
  • 8. The Concept Behind Carbon Trading The Failed Market The Carbon Trading seeks to address what economists call a failed market i.e. A market where individuals or entities take profit by forcing others to bear the costs. Example : Cyanide Leach Mining in Montana Pegasus Gold Corp (1979 ~ 1998) Zortman /Ladusky Mine 1998 Total Gold : 2,529,644 ounces Profits : US$ 300 million Pegasus declares bankruptcy 1997. Cleanup Bond : US$ 33 million Executives get US$10.4 million in Actual Cost : US$ 63 million success bonuses! (1995 to 1997) - US$ 30 million SKM Sustainability Group
  • 9. Costs of Climate Change are Intergenerational and Global Stern Report (UK Govt) and the Garnaut Report say the cost to the Great Barrier Reef will be large and borne by future generations. $8 billion to 2020 in do nothing scenario Coral Bleaching - Lone Reef near Townsville Queensland, 1998 WWF & The Queensland Tourism Industry Council Estimates of Losses to Qld up to 2020 SKM Sustainability Group
  • 10. ..20% ~ 50% extinction of species ...large- scale movement of population. Such socially contingent effects could be catastrophic - Stern Report 2006 SKM Sustainability Group
  • 11. Economic Approaches to Altering CO2 Emissions Taxation of carbon emissions can occur in three ways 1. Direct Taxation of emissions 2. Baseline and Credit Trading Credits for reducing emissions from a BAU baseline e.g. NSW Govt Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS - 2003) 3. Cap and Trade System Permits to emit Fixed cap on total emissions (= total number of permits) e.g. The CPRS Note : BAU = Business as Usual SKM Sustainability Group
  • 12. Baseline and Credit Carbon Trading Government must set hypothetical baselines for each industry representing BAU emissions Execution at project or enterprise level is easy to understand Australian Power Pty Ltd Philippines Paper Pty Ltd $60 Abatement Cost of Abatement Certificate for Cost of Abatement $120 / tonne CO2-e 1 tonne of CO2-e $40 / tonne CO2-e Note : CO2-e is a quantity of greenhouse gas expressed as an equivalent mass of Co2 SKM Sustainability Group
  • 13. Cap and Trade How it Works Government Determines Total Emissions Cap for Australia 600 million tonnes of CO2 in 2011 Issues 600 million carbon Certificates Australian Emissions Target Abatement Certificate for 1 tonne of CO2-e Companies Trade in Certificates Surrender Certificates SKM Sustainability Group
  • 14. Carbon Credits Baseline and Credit System Cap and Trade System Garbage Compost Garbage Compost CREDIT Emissions = Liability SKM Sustainability Group
  • 15. WHY NOT A CARBON TAX OR BASELINE AND TRADE? > With perfect information a direct tax can achieve the same outcome as either of the trading systems & vice versa > In practice outcomes from taxation & regulatory approaches may be different: o Cap & trade system Emissions outcome certain, but price is uncertain Pressure on govt in setting cap but market determines price No carbon credit incentives for new technology o Taxation Price is certain, but emissions outcome is not Pressure on government to alter tax / price. Uncertainty about progress towards targets o Baseline and