We were fortunate to have Tony Wood AM, the Grattan Institute’s Director of Energy and Climate Change as our seminar speaker on 17 September. Tony Wood led us through the intricacies of the energy/climate debate, including the safeguard mechanism, in a clear and considered way.

What a tale Tony told. He began his presentation by outlining the fraught history of the climate change story in Australia, a country rich in natural resources. He focussed on the period from 2007 with election of the Rudd Government to the election of the new Federal Government in 2022. By and large it is a story of lost opportunity and conflict in which the strongest lesson was “Politics always trumps policy” and that any window of opportunity is only open for a short time.

The new Federal Government has learnt that lesson and has taken action quickly and with support from the Greens and David Pocock has recently passed legislation that has enshrined a target of 43 % and established a carbon budget . Tony stressed that the carbon budget for the period 2021 to 2030 is 4381 mmt, so that any increases in emissions over that time must be overcome by decreases to that amount of 4381mmt. For example, any increases by industry must be balanced by decreases in some or all other sectors of our economy. Overall, an important and timely seminar with clear messages for Government.

  • Take the simplest approach to the safeguard mechanism
  • Determine a clear link between targets and policies
  • Sort out priority gas issues
  • Coordinate leadership on policies
  • Establish emission standards for light vehicles

Linda Condon U3APP tutor ably facilitated the seminar and managed a wide-ranging list of questions from participants. A copy of Tony Wood’s slides in PDF format is HERE.

Here is a VIDEO of the Seminar.

Report by Pam Caven, Saturday Seminars

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