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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Development of the CPRS - Part Three: Research Reports

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Research reports provide scientific, social or economic information that relates to draft policy development. The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is based on scientific research reports into how to combat global warming. Many research reports have suggested that Australia needs to take action regarding climate change, whilst others suggest that the changes in climate are natural and all action would do is make Australia uncompetitive in global markets. One of the reports that suggest that climate change is real is the Stern Report, which also suggests that Australia is one of the countries most at risk from the negative consequence of climate change ( Also, according to the Climate Change Action Network Australia, Australia is the highest per capita carbon pollution emitter of all developed nations ( Another group, the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), suggests in turn that global warming as a result of the human contribution of greenhouse gasses is only half the issue, and changes in climate in the US and Canada are equally the result of changing currents in the Pacific Ocean and human activity ( However the research report that has had the most influence on the formulation of the CPRS is the Garnaut Report.

When Professor Garnaut presented his report to the Government, he suggested that an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would be preferable to other schemes, such as a tax scheme or hybrid scheme, in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.(1) The report suggested that, through the use of an ETS, Australia should reduce it’s emissions by 25% (on 2000 levels) by 2020, and 90% by 2050.(1) The government at first adopted a modified version of Garnaut’s lower targets, but in May 2009 this was revised and Garnaut’s suggestion of 25% by 2020 was adopted, provided that the rest of the world agrees to similar targets. (


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