It is a truism that carbon taxes are good policy but bad politics, as Australians know all too well. Yet despite the political challenge, some governments still adopt carbon taxes and most of those survive. The motivation for my current project is to understand the political conditions for adoption and survival of carbon taxes.
Estimating the relationship between economic development and energy demand and determining whether that relationship changes as levels of development change have been popular questions in energy economics.
The recently released IPCC Special Scientific Report, “Global Warming of 1.5°C” highlighted the historically unprecedented scale of the changes required in energy, land, urban and industrial systems to achieve the 1.5 degrees limit and the enormity of the additional climate impacts we can expect if we are unsuccessful in doing so. As bad as the projected impacts are, the actual impacts may be significantly worse due to the likelihood that warming will generate cascading hazards on various temporal and spatial scales.
Energy storage is at the early stages of contributing significant changes to the structure and operation of the electricity system both in Australia and around the world. These changes are being driven by the diversity of energy storage technologies and its breadth of capabilities.
This talk examines prospects for China’s clean energy transition in the context of the current phase of re-centralisation under Xi Jinping. Perspectives on energy and environmental governance in China frequently ascribe blame for China’s environmental problems to sub-national governments’ lax environmental enforcement. Such research implicitly assumes that more central control would lead to better results.
Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter will present the current state of German Climate Policy in the context of the Paris Agreement, focusing on targets for 2020, 2030, and 2050. She will discuss how this relates to the EU Climate Policy and targets and give an overview of the latest work of the Climate Action Tracker, an independent analysis tracking climate action since 2009 in 32 countries covering about 80% of global emissions.
Which areas is it fair and reasonable for a university to invest in? What does forward-looking and ethical investment mean for an organisation like ANU? How should organisations like ANU structure their investment portfolios in anticipation and support of the low-carbon transition of the world economy?
This public forum will bring together expert panelists to explore these questions.
Opening address: Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, ANU and 2011 Nobel Laureate Physics.
Reaching the ambitions of the Paris Agreement will require global changes towards low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. We are witnessing a proliferation of green financial mechanisms and growing efforts to align investment flows to climate targets. But amidst these signs of growing appetite to shift global development pathways, what will it take to ‘green’ private sector investment flows to developing countries, as well as to reach the $100 billion per year climate finance target promised by developed countries?
Looking to enhance or build your public policy career? Explore your Crawford School study options at our Postgraduate Information Evening.
Staff from Crawford School will be there to discuss your options and help you find a degree that suits your career aspirations. This event takes place at the Canberra Room, Hyatt Hotel on Thursday 24 May from 5-7pm.
At Crawford School, you’ll be studying alongside Australian and international public servants and government officials under the guidance of the world’s most prominent academics.
Global coal use will fall if the world economy decarbonises, as would be necessary to achieve climate change goals. Other factors may also reduce coal demand, among them reductions in the costs of renewable energy technologies and increasing focus on air pollution by some governments. The speed, extent and nature of changes in coal use, production and trade are uncertain. But it is clear the the global energy transition poses economic and social challenges to coal producers.
Markets for road use: eliminating congestion through scheduling, routing, and real-time road pricing
Traffic congestion is a global problem with annual costs approaching $1 trillion, and is a major challenge in Australian cities. The health and environmental costs are often severe. With the right policies, those costs can be greatly reduced. The Australian government has launched a review into road pricing mechanisms.
Household electricity demand can be strongly affected by behavioural factors, including the billing structure for electricity. The predominant billing practice, ex-post bills, make electricity consumption an intertemporal problem. With hyperbolic discounting, households’ behaviour exhibits a present bias, which also affects their consumption choices. This seminar will explore the likely effects of these behavioural issues on electricity demand and discuss possible policy options that nudge households to lower electricity usage.
Australia’s electricity sector is on the cusp of major change which poses new questions for energy market design, regulation and policy. Ageing coal power plants will need to be replaced. Rapid technological change together with the desire to cut carbon dioxide emissions make renewable power coupled with energy storage the dominant option for new power supply. At the same time, new technologies provide opportunities for decentralised power generation and flexible demand responses. But the regulatory and policy sphere is lagging behind.
Planetary Economics and the three domains of sustainable development
Is wind power to be blamed for last week’s South Australian blackout? As generation costs of wind and solar decrease into the range of fossil fueled power, the system impacts of variability (intermittency) become crucial. With increasing shares of wind and solar PV, variability imposes technical challenges and additional costs to the energy system that can be in the same order of magnitude as generation costs.
The real work is just beginning: Professor Ottmar Edenhofer explores the issues for international climate policy to make the Paris Agreement a success. Among them are the global carbon budget and two degrees target, the need for negative emissions, and a little on game theory and how this impacts climate. National minimum prices for CO2 emissions combined with international climate finance could be a way to put the Paris Agreement into practice.
It is now 20 years since the legislation establishing the National Electricity Market (NEM) was passed in the South Australian Parliament, and it is legitimate to ask how has the NEM turned out and how is it placed to deal with current challenges.
Dr Don Russell was involved with the early moves that led to the NEM.
Electricity production is Australia’s largest carbon dioxide emitting sector, and offers great potential for emissions reductions both in the short and long term, all the way to decarbonisation of the power supply. The existing policy framework however is not geared to support a comprehensive low-carbon transition. Government has foreshadowed a 2017 climate policy review, while the Labor party has said that it would implement new policies if in power.
Tax-induced emissions? Evidence of unintended consequences from carbon taxation in wholesale electricity markets
Corrective taxation of negative externalities is not unambiguously welfare improving in imperfectly competitive markets. Gordon Leslie shows that for carbon taxation in wholesale electricity markets, introducing a small carbon tax that reduces without eliminating the cost advantage of emissions-heavy, coal based electricity generation over gas based electricity generation can increase equilibrium carbon emissions for some fixed levels of demand.
With the energy transition or Energiewende, the German government aims to deeply reduce carbon dioxide emissions by increasing renewable energy to 60 per cent of total energy supply by mid-century, and by drastically reducing total energy consumption.
Hugh Saddler: What has been happening to residential electricity demand in Australia?
Average annual electricity consumption per residential consumer has been falling steadily in every state since around 2009. The presentation will examine the factors which may explain this reduction and speculate on where electricity consumption may go in the next few years. It will also include some preliminary results from an analysis of how low income households use electricity.
Putting a price on carbon is considered a crucial step for China’s endeavor of harnessing the market forces to reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions. Indeed, aligned with China’s grand experiment with low-carbon provinces and low-carbon cities in six provinces and thirty-six cities, the Chinese central government has approved the seven pilot carbon trading schemes. These seven pilot regions are deliberately selected to be at varying stages of development and are given considerable leeway to design their own schemes.
All countries have been called on to submit a pledge for their ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ to future global climate action, ahead of the Paris UN climate conference. The government process for deciding Australia’s post-2020 greenhouse gas emissions target is underway. There is a substantial amount of research and analysis relevant to this decision.
More than a decade ago, Indonesia, a diverse archipelago rich in natural resources, began to adopt a strongly decentralised political and fiscal system. Significant powers are now at the district level, including over land use and forest management. Under the Suhartos’ New Order, centralised policies and programs, particularly those that are land-related, had boosted not only economic growth but also environmental degradation, such as deforestation and the conversion of peat-lands.
International climate negotiations are intensifying towards the Paris 2015 UN climate conference that is meant to strike a post-2020 climate agreement. The UN Secretary General is hosting a leaders’ summit in September 2014, and countries have been invited to put forward their post-2020 emission reduction goals in the first quarter of 2015. This public forum will reflect on the outlook for global action, including key elements of the post-2020 agreement, what ‘success’ in Paris might look like, and implications for Australia’s emission reduction goals to 2020 and beyond.
Climate and energy policy is once more near the top of the US government’s policy agenda, and occupies a prominent position in China’s development planning and policy. Both countries strive for global leadership on clean energy technologies, and both are preparing national pledges to reduce or constrain their carbon emissions for the period after 2020. The active pursuit of this policy agenda has implications for the strategic relationship of the world’s superpowers, and for the G20 agenda.
Energy lies at the heart of the world’s sustainability challenge. On the one hand, abundant, accessible, low-cost energy is vital for economic prosperity. On the other hand, the world’s pattern of energy use, based on fossil fuels, threatens massive future climate change with devastating potential consequences. The greatest sustainability challenge, therefore, is to meet the energy needs of a growing world economy while moving to a safer pattern of energy use.
Many industrialised nations are moving away from coal as an energy source, and China has ambitious plans to reduce the share of coal in its energy mix.
Asia and the Pacific Policy Society Conference 2014: G20’s policy challenges for Asia and the Pacific - day two
This year’s conference focuses on the G20 agenda to support the Australian government and its hosting of the G20 leaders’ meeting later in 2014. The Asia and the Pacific Policy Society Conference (APPS) 2014 brings together some of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners from a diverse range of research fields for two days of dialogue to propose solutions to some of the region’s and the world’s most pressing policy challenges.
Climate change is a primary threat to the development prospects of poor countries and households, and maintaining tropical forests is an essential component of any global emissions mitigation strategy. Forests also provide goods and services that contribute directly to rural livelihoods, food security, and climate resilience. Yet despite decades of international cooperation to control deforestation, forest loss continues at a rapid rate, driven in large part by consumption patterns and policies in rich countries.
China is preparing to give market-based instruments a greater role in its climate change mitigation and energy policy portfolio. Seven emissions trading pilot schemes are getting underway, and a national carbon pricing scheme is being considered. Researchers from China and Australia present an update on developments on climate change mitigation policy in China, in particular the development of emissions trading schemes and reform in China’s energy sector.
The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) is an independent association of persons and organisations interested in agricultural, resource and environmental economics.
In February of each year, AARES organises a conference on topical issues which is aimed at providing the opportunity for academics, policy makers and others in the agricultural, resource and environmental sectors to network, share ideas and research, and keep up to date with the latest developments.
The Climate Change Authority has started work on the first review of Australia’s emissions caps (the “Caps and Target Review”). The Authority will assess Australia’s progress toward its medium and long term emission reduction goals, and examine the appropriate level of ambition for Australia’s next steps to reduce emissions. At the conclusion of the review, the Authority will recommend a national emission reduction target for 2020, and an indicative pathway and budget for national emissions over time to the Government.
*Please note - this event is booked out and registrations have closed.
**Please also note - registered attendees will only be admitted.
At this public forum the Hon Greg Hunt MP will explain and discuss the Coalition’s climate change policy. Adjunct Professor Martijn Wilder and Dr Frank Jotzo will present perspectives.
Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, will speak about the risk a 4 degree warmer world poses for development and the impact of sea-level rise, heat waves and extreme weather events globally, and in Australia and Oceania. Everyone will be affected by the changing climate, but the poor and vulnerable will suffer most.