More Dodgy Climate Modelling with Flawed Assumptions

New analysis of the new BAE economics modelling by Brian Fisher released today, highlights that it is based on numerous flawed assumptions which cast serious doubt to the validity of the claims contained.

Key Findings:

  • Fisher’s results are contradicted by a large economic literature. The Australia Institute has identified 17 reports from the last five years alone and 3 major reports from Treasury. They show deep cuts are possible with very small or positive economic impacts and strong ongoing economic growth.
  • Fisher uses costs of abatement that are ridiculously high and widely contradicted. They are many times higher than government commissioned assessments from three years ago.
  • Fisher explicitly ignores the high cost of inaction. Despite citing a report that says the costs of inaction to Australia are more than $130bn a year – even without considering disaster impacts.
  • Fisher misrepresents Australia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement. He conflates Paris with current 26% ‘down-payment’ pledge, when in fact in the Paris Agreement,  Australia agreed that “much  greater  emission  reduction  efforts  will  be  required” to 2030.

“While there is legitimate debate on the best climate policy for Australia, it is important that information is factual,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“The last time Australians saw Labor’s climate policies in action, emissions went down 2%, the economy grew by 5% and employment increased by 200,000 jobs. Given that experience, why would anyone place any weight on Brian Fisher’s modelling which predicts the exact opposite happening?

“The modelling uses the absurdly high price of over $400 a tonne if there is no trading. It assumes firming costs for renewable energy could be as high as $200 MWh when the Government-owned Snowy 2.0 is offering firmed renewable contracts at $70MWh.

“This new modelling also excludes the huge cost of climate impacts resulting from weak versus ambitious reduction targets, which by a study Fisher himself previously referenced, is around $130 billion per year.

“The Government has an entire department at its disposal with hundreds of economists. It is very telling that the Minister Angus Taylor and this Government are relying on one report from one consultant who critics say has a long history of working for the coal industry and frankly, he’s never met a climate action policy that he’s liked.”

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