The economics of climate change

18 Jun 2014

This report examines the economic impact of climate change for Australia, explores the responses of other nations and considers what policies will be most effective for Australia to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Executive summary

The politics of climate change are highly contested in Australia at this point in time. In The Economics of Climate Change CEDA explores the economic issues of climate change examining the international context, how to minimise Australia’s exposure to climate change risks and how best to expend its natural resources. In the international context, the report examines both the emerging policy responses and their economic consequences for Australia.

Adjusting to the impacts of climate change and mitigating its effects will be a task for both this and future generations. As a relatively small industrialised nation, Australia must be open and responsive to global developments in both the economic and the policy environment. Many of the implications of climate change can be ameliorated through effective policy responses, whereas poor public policy will exacerbate the challenges. These issues were explored in CEDA’s recent publications on population, A Greater Australia: Population, policies and governance; water, The Australian Water Project; and energy, Australia’s Energy Options. This policy perspective suggests that there is considerable scope to improve Australia’s policy response to climate change.

CEDA has also extensively examined the policy settings surrounding climate change in the 2009 report Climate change: Getting it right, the 2010 report, A taxing debate: Climate policy beyond Copenhagen and the 2012 policy perspective A taxing debate: The forgotten issues of climate policy.

The contributions to this policy perspective accept the science of climate change but acknowledges that there are uncertainties about its ramifications both at the global and, particularly, the local level. They also appreciate Australia’s inability to avert global climate change in isolation while appreciating the nation’s economic need to respond in conjunction with the rest of the world, particularly the developed world. It also appreciates that climate change is a source of economic and social challenge but also of opportunity.

Related identifier: ISBN 0 85801 294 4

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