ANU EXPERTS: Climate change policy

With climate change policy again on the agenda in the Federal Election campaign, The Australian National University (ANU) has experts available to speak about climate change and its implications for Australia.

They can be contacted directly, or through the media hotline on 02 6125 7979.

Professor Mark Howden
ANU Climate Change Institute
M: 0429 026050
Expertise: Climate change policy, climate change mitigation

“Rational decision-making on climate change would be based on robust comparison of the benefits and costs of various levels of emission reduction and climate adaptation actions addressing economic, environmental and social angles.”

“The current debate is overwhelmingly focused on just the immediate economic costs. In doing so, it presents a negative picture which becomes intentionally or unintentionally a barrier to action.”

“As we have seen with the roll out of renewables, the benefits of climate action can far exceed the costs. The same goes for climate impacts more broadly – the costs of not acting on climate change are huge. Ultimately, these will be in the tens of trillions of dollars a year globally, dwarfing the costs of action.”

“The challenge here for policy is that short-term costs are far easier to calculate than the cumulative benefits over decades, particularly the non-monetary benefits.  Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that if we do it well, action on climate change will not only save us money, it will save many lives, improve quality of life and reduce environmental degradation. It will also open up huge opportunities for Australian innovation.”

Associate Prof Paul Burke
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
M: 0421 083 933
Expertise: Climate change economics and policy, environmental economics, energy

“It is important to remember the rationale for reducing emissions. It is in Australia’s national interest for the worst global warming scenarios to be avoided.”

“Some modelling assumes it is difficult to move away from emitting activities. In reality, Australia is a sunny and windy continent, with huge potential to decarbonise and to start to export zero-carbon energy.”

“Storage technologies are available and becoming cheaper. There are many opportunities out there.”

“When it comes to cost, not all instruments are the same. A carbon price would be very useful for achieving low-cost emission reductions. That is why many economists keep recommending carbon pricing, year in year out.”

Dr Christian Downie
ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance
M: 0419 014575
Expertise: Global climate policy, energy policy

“As global momentum for climate change action continues to build, as evident with the UK Parliament recognition today that we face a climate emergency, Australia is still debating the costs of reducing emissions.

“It’s a debate that is not only based on alarmist figures, but misses the point. We have to act and the sooner we do the cheaper it will be. Not acting is not an option.”

For media assistance call the ANU media hotline 02 6125 7979.

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