Despite extensive economic modelling of climate policy by Treasury, other government agencies, academics and others, the current government continues to focus on modelling by consultants, BAEconomics. The firm is led by Brian Fisher and works regularly for the coal industry. Fisher has been presenting climate action as unaffordable for decades, often commissioned by the Minerals Council. Fisher claims his current stream of work is a pro-bono contribution to public debate.
A preview of Fisher’s modelling was reported in The Australian in February with the headline “Carbon cut apocalypse: cost of ALP energy plan”. The full report was released on 14 March, with similar headlines. Another Fisher report, this time expressly focused on ALP policy, has been released.
BAEconomics’ modelling is deeply flawed. It is essential to interrogate its claims and assumptions closely, particularly as its results are out of line with decades of analysis.