How to save the world from climate change
The US and Canada have announced they will phase out fossil fuels by 2050, which would save the planet a staggering $6 trillion.
The announcement was a major victory for environmentalists, as they hoped it would galvanise the world to tackle climate change.
However, it will not be enough to stop the planet from going backwards.
That’s because the world is in the midst of a massive power-hungry industrialisation drive that will eventually cause a meltdown of global ecosystems.
The United Nations is calling for a global carbon price of $100 a tonne, with a $100 price on carbon being considered a minimum price for governments to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
In the meantime, there is a long way to go before the world’s population reaches a sustainable level.
It is estimated that around 70 per cent of the world will need to increase their consumption of fossil fuels to reach the global emissions target of 15 per cent below 2005 levels by 2050.
But even that is unlikely, as the world needs to ramp up carbon emissions to a level higher than what was achieved in the 1990s to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to avoid catastrophic tipping points.
In many parts of the developed world, the shift to renewable energy will be slower than the transition from coal, which is a major source of emissions.
In some parts of Asia, which accounts for more than half of world’s emissions, solar and wind power is already replacing coal in most parts of China.
“I’m not saying there’s not hope,” said Dr John Macdonald, the director of the Centre for Climate Change Policy at the University of New South Wales.
“But I’m not convinced it’s going to be as rapid as we’d like it to be.”
A major obstacle The big challenge is that there is currently very little economic research to show that a carbon price will actually boost economic growth.
The reason is simple.
If carbon pricing is introduced to the economy, the economic impact will be very small.
“If you think about the economy of Australia, its growth has been in the last 20 years, not the last 100 years,” Dr Macdonald said.
“So it’s very hard to see how we would see a real positive impact in that period.”
Instead, Dr Macdon said there were many examples of economies where economic growth has accelerated during times of increased carbon emissions.
A lot of that is because people are starting to realise they’re contributing to climate change by burning more fossil fuels, so they’re using up a lot of the resources that were previously in use.
“What happens in the end is that people are moving towards cleaner ways of living and making choices,” he said.
The biggest impediment to a carbon tax, Dr Mcdonald said, was the political opposition to the policy, which could potentially be overcome through a combination of legislation and a strong coalition.
The Greens also support a carbon fee.
But that policy has been rejected by the Coalition government, which wants to keep taxes low and carbon prices high.
In that case, Dr John Mcdonald would be happy to see a carbon levy that would go to the poorest and most vulnerable Australians, as a first step towards a carbon-neutral economy.
But the Greens have said they will support a $1,000 levy, which will go towards low-income families and the unemployed.
They also support the introduction of a carbon excise tax to fund the transition, but this has yet to be decided by the government.
“We think it’s an excellent idea, and it would be a good starting point,” Dr Mcdon said.
Climate change policy is becoming increasingly politicised, and a lot more attention is being paid to the issue by politicians.
While the Abbott government has a number of climate sceptics on its side, the prime minister is also widely known for his strong views on climate change, and the coal-fired power stations that power Australia.
It was Mr Abbott who introduced the carbon tax in 2009, and he has since repeatedly criticised the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, a private sector investment bank.
Dr MacDonald believes there is more to the climate debate than the political rhetoric.
“It’s not just about climate change,” he noted.
“Climate change is a real problem for the human species.”
The current government in Australia is facing a climate crisis.
The carbon tax was introduced to address the threat that it was the first carbon price to go into effect.
“The carbon tax has been a good start, but there are still many more questions to be answered about its implementation,” Dr McMillan said.
If a carbon pricing system were to be introduced, it would need to be applied across the board, Dr McMann said.
It would also need to apply to electricity generation, mining and transport, and agriculture.
That means it would also have to apply equally to industries that produce electricity, like agriculture.
“At the moment, the government’s climate policy has not been a plan to achieve a