This document was my personal contribution to a review of the climate change policies that the ALP took to the 2019 election, and where the party might go from there. Policy within the ALP is based on the national party conference, in this case in December 2018. So I took a look at how existing policy might be modified for the future. These comments represent my views as they were expressed in August, with minor editorial tweaking.
Again, it’s a long read. Some may prefer to skip down to the Recommendations section, which is a more digestible 1773 words.
The 2019 federal election could have been a climate change election. To the extent that it was Labor’s excellent policy was not well promoted or defended. The Greens attacked it as a “dogs breakfast”, saying that it was no better than the Coalition policy.
The point of attack was the use of overseas offsets in the emissions reduction policy for major emitters. It relates to Labor proposals to modify existing government policy and the so-called Safeguard Mechanisms. Warwick McKibbin AO, Australian Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, had done modelling for the Abbott government which found that to rule out the purchase of offsets, here and abroad, was simply bad policy, and insignificant in its cost effect.
Since the 250 major emitters were a large part of our emissions, tackling the issue was not optional, indeed it is unavoidable if we are serious about climate change, but to do it badly could see many jobs going offshore to countries that had less concern about emissions. John Quiggin supported McKibbin.
It was badly defended.
Other than that, actions by green groups and in particular a crusade by former Greens leader Bob Brown succeeded in turning the approval of one ordinary-sized mine into a proxy for a serious debate about climate change.
Rather than go over the entrails, this submission seeks to look forward and concentrates on climate change policy as it exists within Chapter 4 of Labor’s National Platform.
Following the science
In Para 14 (page 76) of the Labor National Platform there is a fundamental commitment to science and consultation:
- Labor accepts the science of climate change. This reflects the broadly held view of the Australian community. Australia needs constructive, inclusive debate and evidence-based policy, so Labor policy is informed by scientists, economists, environmental and climate stakeholders, farmers, business, industry, unions, community organisations and governments. We have and will continue to consult thoroughly and comprehensively on policy based on the views of the experts and the community. Labor will adopt innovative approaches to limit climate change and our collective energy challenge.
In this regard it is understandable that references were made to the IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018, just before the last national conference.
The first problem is that the IPCC Report is not actually offering a path that keeps us within 1.5°C of warming. As Prof Simon Lewis tells us in Sucking carbon out of the air is no magic fix for the climate emergency says:
- To have just a 50% chance of meeting the 1.5C means halving global emissions over the next decade and hitting “net zero” emissions by about 2050.
Furthermore, he says, most scenarios offered by the IPCC have more than 730bn tonnes of carbon dioxide sequestered as negative emissions this century, which he sees as basically impossible.
In another article by Prof Mike Maslin and Simon comments on a study taking a positive view of reafforestation. They agree that it is quite feasible to plant trees on 900 million hectares, an area roughly the size of the continental US, if spread all over the globe. However, they are sceptical that 205 billion tonnes of carbon can be sequestered that way (205 billion carbon equals 547 billion CO2 – multiply C by 3.67) and in any case it will take many years for the trees to grow.
Planting trees is only one solution and not one that acts with sufficient speed in the climate emergency.
Some 10 years ago Malte Meinshausen of the Potsdam Institute (PIK) developed this graph for what was called the “climate budget approach”:
The actual values are out of date, but the main message, which remains, is that the longer we delay the harder and deeper into negative territory we need to go.
Joëlle Gergis’s The terrible truth of climate change (originally published in The Monthly) reports that scientists are revising their models, they now find that the truth is significantly worse than they thought.
She also reminds us that 1.5°C will see the destruction of between 70 and 90 per cent of reef-building corals compared to today, and that already half the reef is dead.
The IPCC tends to leave paleoclimate information out of account. One effect of this has been to disregard ice sheet disintegration. Some models are now including ice sheet decay, but Greenland and West Antarctica have only been seriously in play for a couple of decades, an extraordinarily short time when the midpoint time for ice sheet stabilisation is around 2,000 years (James Hansen says 1 to 4 thousand). If you do the maths, forecasting on observed data of 20 years is literally like trying to forecast the year from the first five minutes of observations.
Glaciers are difficult to measure. A new study measuring just one reveals that in fact it is melting 10 to 100 times quicker than previously thought, with implications for sea-level rise. Not altogether surprising if we are forcing the climate around 10 times harder than it was forced coming out of the last ice age.
The link between CO2, temperature and sea level is well-established from the ice core record, dating back 800,000 years. We know that during the last inter-glacial, the Eemian, sea levels were 6-9 metres higher than now with just 300 ppm. We are now over 410, and the last time CO2 this high was during the Pliocene (2.6 to 5.3 million years ago) there was a forest of trees in Antarctica.
Sea levels back then were estimated to have been 25 metres (midpoint) higher than now. However, because this told us nothing that would appear in a peer-reviewed journal article about what would happen this century, the IPCC left it out of calculations. They actually went further. They downplayed the relevance of ice sheet decay in the near term.
Common sense would tell us that the paleoscience information constituted a risk that should not be ignored.
James Hansen says (Climate change in a nutshell p25) that we should expect, on average, 20 metres of sea level rise for each degree of warming.
A more comprehensive critique of problems with the IPCC and indeed much of climate science is given in a report by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop What Lies Beneath: The scientific understatement of climate risks and subsequent reports. It is worth noting the foreword by Prof Hans Joachim Schellnhuber who was:
- professor of theoretical physics specialising in complex systems and nonlinearity, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (1992-2018) and former chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. He is a senior climate advisor to the European Union, the German Chancellor and Pope Francis.
Schellnhuber tells of the deformation professionelle (French) or German Betriebsblindheit that has beset much of climate research. The German translates as organisational blindness.
He goes on:
- Expressed in plain English, experts tend to establish a peer world-view which becomes ever more rigid and focussed. Yet the crucial insights regarding the issue in question may lurk at the fringes, as this report suggests. This is particularly true when the issue is the very survival of our civilisation, where conventional means of analysis may become useless.
He says the IPCC has laboured hard, but a trend towards “erring on the side of least drama” has emerged. He finishes by saying that although scientists may be reluctant to cry wolf, the wolf may already be in the house.
To me the most pertinent critique of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5ºC came from Gavin Schmidt, Hansen’s successor at NASA GISS, who in a post at RealClimate addressed directly the question of Can we avoid going through 1.5ºC? He says the IPCC has used “a few circumlocutions to avoid giving a direct answer to this question (for reasonable and understandable reasons).” He was not quite so constrained, and his answer was a simple “no”. He says:
- near-term reductions in carbon emissions by ~70% are required to even stabilize CO2, and to stabilize temperature, even further (net) reductions are required. And worse still to stabilize sea level, eventual temperature drops would be required.
A blog post, however significant and authoritative, or a foreword to a report would never be picked up by the IPCC, because the IPCC deals essentially in peer-reviewed published scientific articles.
In order to reduce temperature, and thus stabilise sea levels, we will need to turn the global warming dial down by taking greenhouse gases out of the air, which probably means direct carbon capture and storage and geo-engineering. Here I’ll just mention that two firms already have the technology to capture ‘wild’ CO2. One is the Canadian Carbon Engineering, who claim they can suck CO2 out of the air for less than $US100 per tonne, and the other the Swiss Climeworks. Beyond that there could be some carbon utilisation or liquefaction and sequestration. Both would need to demonstrate scalability, but the point is that the technology appears to be there, at prices humanity could afford if the threat were recognised as existential.
“Existential” in this context does not mean the threat of extinction, only that society as presently organised would be threatened.
We are now at a stage where the Great Barrier Reef is dying before our eyes, our Pacific neighbours are in existential threat from sea level rise, the weather seems to have gone crazy all over the world, wildfires are blazing as never before, even within the Arctic circle, and in Bhutan they are under existential threat from the melting of the “third pole” the Hindu Kush with implications “for nearly two billion people downstream from catastrophic flooding that would destroy land and livelihoods.”
Just in, in July we have had the hottest month ever recorded by humans, the US defense and intelligence establishment is worried about climate change as a threat multiplier and a state destabiliser, multiple naval facilities around the world are exposed to sea level rise, plus a new IPCC climate change report calls for an urgent overhaul of food production and land management.
Hansen in Nutshell p39 says we need to turn down the global warming dial in the first instance to 350 ppm (he’s been saying that since December 2007). On page 45 he does some calculations as to what is needed. With costings in the ballpark cited above, he calls for removing 695 GtC from the air in an effort to achieve atmospheric CO2 of 350 ppm by 2100. He sees the effort at $1.3 to $3.0 trillion per year over 80 years. Of course that would be additional to reducing emissions to net zero.
Those costs are in the order of current defense spending around the globe, but far less as a proportion of GDP than was spent in World War 2.
His sense, which I think would be widely shared, is that we have already let warming go too far. As Alexis Wright says in The Guardian, We all smell the smoke, we all feel the heat. This environmental catastrophe is global. What he is aspiring to is a safe climate rather than just escaping catastrophe.
I’m not sure that Schellnhuber would regard James Hansen’s science as on the fringe. Typically Hansen’s papers have multiple authors in multiple disciplines from multiple institutions, for example the Ice melt paper of 2016 with 18 co-authors. He adopts a process of open review, where the draft is posted on his site for everyone to comment before finalising the text.
I think it is inevitable that the climate emergency will be a major issue at the next election. Certainly there is a widespread appreciation that the climate as we experience it now is challenging, and people who are young now may face difficult disruption to their lives through the physical, social and economic impacts of climate change.
Given the above, I have a number of recommendations for drafting the next iteration of the National Platform, chapter 4.
First, while the IPCC remains an authoritative source, the Platform should leave scope for Labor in government to take into account the latest science.
I don’t want to diss the IPCC completely. At the very least their major reports are six to nine months out of date when published, and then stand as gospel for the next seven years. Labor needs to work from the latest science.
Second, adopt prominently in the Platform two proposals included in the 2019 Election Policy:
- Restore and reform the Climate Change Authority (CCA)
- Undertake a triennial Australian Climate Change Assessment (ACCA)
[Update: Five years may be deemed more approriate. I have no personal preference.]
Labor’s 2019 election policy targets for reducing emissions were taken from the Climate Change Authority advice to the Abbott government in 2014 as to what our effort should be towards the then proposed Paris Agreement. The CCA still exists and in fact has a current consultation paper out to update our commitment to the Paris Agreement, which was always meant to be upgraded post 2020.
I can’t adjudicate on the science of climate change and whether Hansen’s recommendations represent the way forward. Nor should Labor as a political party. The Climate Change Authority was created to take party politics out of climate change and to access the best advice through a public process.
The CCA needs to be revamped and encouraged to make recommendations that will in fact respond in a credible way to the climate emergency, be seen so by other countries who are serious about the matter, and aspire to a safe climate.
The Australian Climate Change Assessment would be a more thorough assessment, perhaps similar in scope to the Garnaut Review undertaken by the Gillard government.
Third, following the Australian Climate Change Assessment steps should be taken to develop a comprehensive national Climate Transition Plan.
This should cover all aspects of transition to a clean economy, not just the energy sector. The idea came from the German Energiewende (literally energy change), but this would be wider than just the energy sector. It will need to address the transition out of coal and gas mining, specifying measures to be taken to effect a just transition. Experience from the car industry demise was that a third of workers made redundant got better jobs, a third got worse jobs, and a third got no jobs at all. That was with a Coalition national government. Labor must convince workers and other businesses in the community that its plans are better.
Workers in coal and gas jobs must know that sooner or later their jobs will go. Finance and insurance companies will decide the issue if governments don’t.
[Update: Climate Transition Plan is intended as a neutral descriptor. We, that is Australia, can make it and call it anything we want, including an Australian Green New Deal. I have a prefernce for descriptive terms that carry no baggage.]
Fourth, Labor should not get sucked into taking responsibility for Scope 3 emissions from mining fossil fuels.
An AFR article on BHP’s praiseworthy move to assist its customers of its mining operations in limiting emissions showed this graph from Climate Analytics:
BHP’s Scope 3 emissions, which largely occur in other parts of the world, are 40 times it’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 relates to the direct mining activity, Scope 2 to all activity conducted by others to support the mining, and to move the ore to the customers.
Australia faces the prospect of reaching 13% of global emissions by 2030 if Scope 3 emissions are counted as ours.
The international standard is to account for emissions in the location where they are created. That should remain the case, because that is where the relevant policy decisions are made. Nevertheless in a clean world the graph needs to fall to zero. The importance of the graph is that it shows the exposure of the Australian economy to activities which must stop.
In fact Labor needs to legislate to prevent Scope 3 emissions from being counted. In March the WA EPA issued a consultation ruling which said that henceforth any mining developments would need to fully offset Scope 3 emissions. The ruling was made with a note that the WA EPA felt it had to act in the absence of a national emissions policy, which they otherwise would have been happy to follow.
The agitation from companies such as Woodside Petroleum, with $40 billion worth of gas field developments was extreme. The discomfort of the WA government was also extreme, because the EPA had been set up as an independent regulator.
There needs to be more investigation of this, I am writing from memory. Apparently a final ruling will be made in October. However, there are two conclusions to be drawn. Firstly, the deployment of Scope 3 accounting would represent an extreme case of sovereign risk, making Australia a risky place for international capital and risky also for domestic enterprise.
Secondly, since Australia only accounts for 1.4 per cent of emissions, our climate diplomacy is going to have more effect on the future of our children and grandchildren than on our domestic actions. At the same time our diplomacy will be totally ineffective if we don’t take meaningful action in our own back yard.
[Update: Scope 3 needs more work. Legislating against their use would no doubt be used by the Greens. Ethically there is a case that we should not withdraw supply from other counties’ coal burners while we supply our own. There are other possible positions, such as supplying countries which are serious about climate change mitigation.
However, any new development now should probably close before its economic life is run. Insurance companies are becoming very edgy in this space.]
Fifth, Labor should embrace the vision of Professor Andrew Blakers.
In discussions about electricity storage to support intermittent solar and wind, too often the discussion turns to batteries, which are fast (instantaneous) but expensive, more useful to provide stability to the grid than to provide actual power. Pumped hydro take 7 seconds to fire up, faster than gas.
Andrew Blakers and his team at ANU have essentially done three things. Firstly, they have used an algorithm to find potential sites for small-scale pumped hydro, looking at sites not used in agriculture, and not in national parks. They found 67,000, or a thousand times what would be needed for 100% backed up renewable energy.
Second, they looked at linking the sites over the National Electricity Market (NEM) – a million square kilometres – through high voltage direct current (HVDC). The Chinese have demonstrated that they can shoot 12GW of electricity 3,000 km with a loss of only 10%. The more you network the system, the less backup you need.
Thirdly, they have taken hourly weather records, crunched the data required for what they call “balancing” including wet weeks, and worked out the cost. This is the cost of new-build firmed wind and solar against new gas, supercritical coal and current wholesale prices:
Sorry about the screen shot. Gas is on the left, then coal, then renewables in a reasonable cost trend.
As we approach 100% renewables, the cost of firming and transmission does increase, but tops out at $25/MWh:
Blakers says that by using heat pumps for heating, coal and gas can essentially be pushed out of the energy system.
Blakers’ vision continues in two exciting ways. Firstly, he says that 100% renewable transport could be achieved by 2030 by producing 34% renewable energy, which could support batteries or hydrogen or whatever.
Secondly, he sees the whole world being connected by HVDC through intercontinental underwater cables. They have now used their algorithm to find pumped hydro sites all over the world. The future can be energy rich. Here is how much land area is required to supply Australia and the world:
I would suggest that if we were pursuing Blakers’ vision of small scale pumped hydro rather than Snowy 2.0 our future would look a whole lot brighter.
[Update: Comment has been made that Blakers and company seem to neglect concentrated solar with molten salt storage. I suspect Blakers just used wind and solar in a research exercise to exemplify possibilities because of their widespread penetration of the market, and in fact has nothing in principle against concentrated solar.]
Sixth, Labor should make quite explicit that in government it will work through the properly established organisational channels.
This is necessary because currently we have a rogue federal minister, actively generating sovereign risk and disincentives to investment.
The road to privatisation, competition and the National Electricity Market started in 1996 during the Keating government’s last months. The NEM did not get going at full steam until about 2009, which makes this graph of electricity consumer prices, published in 2017 by Ian McAuley, especially interesting:
No-one, the ACCC included, has satisfactorily explained why. The Australian Climate Change Audit mentioned above could well contemplate the wisdom of privatisation. In my humble opinion, electricity retailing and poles and wires are natural monopolies, best in public hands. I can see a role for entrepreneurship, competition and innovation in generation.
[Update: I can see an opportunity in saving consumers money by bringing electricity retailing back into public hands. The Thwaites Inquiry in Victoria found the costs incurred by retailers in acquiring and keeping customers was part of the retail charge, but exceeded the benefits of competition. There is no capital investment, so compensation should be minimal. Basically retailers contribute nothing positive, they are leaches on the system.]
As the matter stands, NEM is run by the COAG Energy Council. The Commonwealth participates as an equal among others, albeit as chair. The Energy Security Board, set up after the Finkel Review, is an organ of the COAG Energy Council. It’s role is to coordinate the operations of three bodies:
The ESB does the forward planning, the AEMC makes the rules under which the market operates, and the AER regulates.
Under the constitution, the states are responsible for the provision of electricity. The Commonwealth’s responsibility and head of power comes from its foreign relations responsibilities. Hence signing the Paris Agreement, as with the Kyoto Accord, gives it responsibility for emissions reduction.
Someone should tell Mr Taylor that it is not his job to bring electricity prices down.
Already earlier this year the Australian Energy Council, representing 23 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets, have said that Taylor’s policies, and lack of credible emissions reduction policies, made the generation sector essentially uninvestible.
Labor needs to restore order and confidence.
Seventh, and last, Labor should inject a note of hope into a desperate situation by aspiring to a safe climate.
Greta Thunberg was right when she said “The emissions are increasing and that is the only thing that matters.” Here they are as at Muana Loa on July 01, 2019:
The only way to offer a safe climate is to reduce emissions as soon as practicable, and to start a program of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Gavin Schmidt and his predecessor James Hansen at NASA GISS have told us broadly what we need to do.
By the term ‘practicable’ I mean socially, economically and politically as well as physically. Australia will be able to do little by itself. In UNFCCC the critical phrase is “common but differentiated responsibilities”. As one of the highest per capita emitters and a wealthy country, Australia needs to do a lot to show that we are fair dinkum about the climate emergency. As Gavin Schmidt said, it will be a marathon rather than a sprint. In a sense we need to do both.
If our leaders are brave, and believe in what they propose, we should be able to offer our children some hope of a narrow, but long path back to the ‘just right’ conditions of the Holocene. As the matter stands the highway to perdition is wide and broad.
[Update 3 November 2019: I’ve inserted updates above as a result of further reflection and attending the LEAN national workshop 25-27 October. An additional idea put to me is that if Labor occupies the treasury benches its first move should be to pass legislation which frames further action and locks in the path to be taken. I can’t at this stage be more specific, but apparently such legislation proved key to progress in Victoria. It sounds a really good idea. I have not undertaken a further review of the following section.]
Comments on text of the existing National Platform
The Labor National Platform clearly took into account the IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C. By and large it is fit for purpose, but could profit from some tweaking as indicated below.
- Labor will ensure Australia implements a comprehensive climate change and energy policy to reduce carbon pollution in line with the Paris Accord goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and taking efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. …
- Labor in government will develop and implement a comprehensive Climate Transition Plan aimed at achieving a safe climate.
I think we should avoid numbers at this point. The level of ambition would be determined by the first triennial Australian Climate Change Assessment, an expert public inquiry under the supervision of a re-vamped Climate Change Authority.
- Australia needs credible and effective national policy leadership to deliver a clean energy future, to mitigate dangerous climate change and to ensure Australia thrives in a low carbon global economy. This is Labor’s long-term plan to reshape and modernise our economy and to cut
- Labor will transform Australia’s economy to reach net zero greenhouse gas pollution as soon as practicable, but at the latest by 2050. …
The sooner the better, and we should not limit our ambition.
The figures will need updating when the new platform is written.
- Climate change requires a global response to keep global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Accords. Australia should play a leading role in global efforts against climate change: in our national economic interest;…
- Climate change requires a global response to achieve a safe climate. Australia should play a leading role in global efforts against climate change: in our national economic interest;…
- Climate change requires a global response to achieve a safe climate. Australia should play a leading role in global efforts against climate change through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and elsewhere: in our national economic interest;…
- Labor is committed to the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees and will ensure Australia’s contribution to the task is fair and based on the best available independent scientific advice. Labor accepts the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which suggests this will require advanced economies to approach net zero emissions by mid-century.
If we keep the second sentence at all, I suggest it be changed to:
Labor accepts that this will require advanced economies achieving net zero emissions as soon as practicable.
The whole planet needs to achieve net zero emissions well before mid-century. Advanced economies should go harder than developing economies, which should be encouraged and assisted to bypass the fossil fuel phase by going directly to renewables.
Suggest the lead in be changed to:
- Labor will reconstitute the Climate Change Authority and charge it with undertaking a first triennial Australian Climate Change Assessment (ACCA) as a prelude to developing a comprehensive national Climate Transition Plan to elaborate and give shape to Labor’s aims. Meanwhile Labor will:
Change fourth dot point to:
- Grow the renewable energy sector
beyond 2020through policies to deliver at least 50% ofour electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030as soon as practicable;
When the new Platform is written we will be beyond 2020.
Fifth dot point:
- Ensure all members of the Australian community, including renters, apartment dwellers, people on low incomes and people in regional and remote communities can access the benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy;
Queensland LEAN passed a resolution at the July meeting to the effect that state institutions would consider the greenhouse implications of their operations and add solar panels where possible. That’s from memory. I support the resolution and would raise the question as to whether general building regulations should be altered to maximise sustainability of the environment, and minimise their life-cycle impact on the environment.
Ninth dot point:
- Adopt post-2020 pollution reduction targets,including to reduce national carbon emissions by 45 percent off 2005 levels by 2030, consistent with doing Australia’s fair share in keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. Labor will base these targets on the latest advice of national and international bodies such as the independent Climate Change Authority and the IPCC;
- Raise Australia’s formal Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) consistent with doing Australia’s fair share. Labor will base these targets on advice from the Climate Change Authority, which will draw on the latest information from national and international science, from organisations and individuals within the Australian community;
Labor’s current targets come in fact from the lower end of the range recommended by the Climate Change Authority advice to government in 2014 for the purpose of establishing Australia’s commitments to the Paris Agreement (2015). The CCA was set up to assess the latest science and to take the party politics out of climate change ambition. The IPCC reports, by their very process, are always out of date when published, and then linger as a de facto standard for another seven years.
Para 28 – change to:
- Community and publicly-owned energy systems will have a critical role to play in the energy transition. Labor will support the ongoing development and deployment of community and publicly-owned energy systems through a clear, consistent and comprehensive national energy policy framework within a national Climate Transition Plan.
- Labor will make the North West of Tasmania a Renewable Energy Zone. The wind energy resource of North West Tasmania is truly world class. This will help deliver on Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target and signal to investors a future site for job creating projects.
This may be an outstanding project, but I don’t believe Labor should be cherry picking individual projects in its Platform. The selection of projects should emerge from national planning with the states through the COAG Energy Council.
This paragraph says that Labor will not support handing approval powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 to state and territory governments.
Labor should also commit to including climate change implications in the criteria considered in approving projects. This could also include the risk of a project becoming a stranded asset.
Somewhere in this section of the platform I believe we should mention what Andrew Blakers and colleagues have worked out, namely that we can achieve 100% renewable electricity, 100% emissions free transport by 2030 if we continue to build wind and solar at half the rate we’ve been achieving in recent years. We need to add two existing technologies. One is to build small-scale pumped hydro as we build wind and solar using 0.1% (one thousandth) of the sites his team has identified. The second is to connect the whole country using HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission using technology demonstrated in China. This can be done for a cost which is less than the wholesale price of electricity now.
- Labor will improve Australia’s preparedness to prevent and combat new invasive species and work with State and Territory governments to develop new tools and biological controls to reduce the impact of established pests and diseases.
This is very general and as such I would support it, making two points. First, on occasion there is a need for eradication, as, for example, fire ants. We need to step up a gear in this regard.
Secondly, so-called ‘free trade’ arrangements appear to demand that a certain amount of risk is inevitable, and should be balanced against the benefits of trade. There are some organisms and diseases where to accept some risk means that infection/infestation becomes inevitable. It’s a matter of time.
See comment to Para 50.
See comment to Para 47.
See comment to para 47.
Para 97 ff:
Paras 97-106 come under the heading Preparing primary industries for the impacts of climate change. Climate change is already here. Mitigating the effects of climate change on primary industries may be more appropriate.