Analysis: Federal Government Net Zero Modelling is Economic Science Fiction

The Australia Institute has reviewed the Federal Government’s newly released Long-term emissions reduction plan: Modelling and Analysis.

“The Federal Government’s climate modelling is like economic science fiction,” said Dr Richard Denniss, chief economist at The Australia Institute.

“The claimed economic benefits come not from avoiding catastrophic climate change, that is ignored, but from a speculative $50 billion hydrogen industry and assumptions about financing costs.

“Most of the emissions reduction is driven by a carbon price of between $24 and $400 in different scenarios, but according to the model this carbon price is not charged by government, unbelievably the modelling assumes companies and consumers impose this charge on themselves.

“The model’s underlying assumptions about financing costs make it simply inevitable that the government’s plan produces economic benefit. The modelling assumes without the government’s plan, financing costs for investments are higher and with it they are lower. Assumptions like this are simply meaningless.

“In fact, the baseline scenario is that every country in the world meets the Paris Agreement, except Australia.

“This modelling claims that despite the world acting on climate and reducing fossil fuel consumption that Australia’s coal exports continue and gas exports even increase.

“They might as well assume the invention of hover boards and cheap interplanetary travel. The Federal Government’s net zero modelling shows that their net zero by 2050 ‘plan’ is little more than an exercise in magical thinking.”

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