30 Apr “Catching up” may cost Australia $26 Billion
In its submission to the Abbott Government’s review of post 2020 emission targets, the Australian Industry (Ai) Group has estimated that the cost of Australia having to play “catch up” and match the emission reductions proposed by the United States and the European Union could be as high as $26 Billion. This estimate is based on a carbon price of $30 per tonne in 2020 and $45 per tonne in 2025. They have also forecast potentially heavy diplomatic and economic consequences if Australia offers a target that is perceived by other nations to be too low.
Ai Group stated that “we accept that Australia ought to bear a fair share of the global effort required to meet the 2 degrees goal, and note that 2025 targets are just a stepping stone towards that longer term context”. For comparison purposes, the submission suggested that the United States’ targets would be more useful than those of the European Union given the relationship between Australia and the United States, the size of their economy and the similarity in the timing of the emissions peak from both countries in the middle of the last decade.