Global Climate Policy & Australian Politics

4 thoughts on “Global Climate Policy & Australian Politics”

  1. What global changes in the world, or Australia specifically, do you think it would take for the Prime Minister of Australia to recognize the severity of the issue? Is there a more efficient way to take care of the problem without creating a seemingly socialism-like foundation that could allegedly weaken the global economy?

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    1. Australia, as a country, is very much at the mercy of the elements in a few respects. Bushfires and drought are two of the natural consequences of living on a continent that is predominately desert, but this also means that the majority of people are living near the coast. The government currently has laws in place that regulate water usage and mandate vegetation clearing in certain areas, but even the mildest of climate projections will make these problems even worse, as was seen in the nearly decade-long drought that the country endured from 2003-2012. Additionally, hundreds of thousands living on the Australian coasts could be displaced by less than a meter’s worth of sea-level rise, with thousands more potentially seeking refuge in Australia from flooding islands elsewhere in the Pacific. The economic disadvantages of these scenarios are clear, but they can be mitigated if Abbot’s government can shift its stance to deal with these problems on a domestic level. The joint agreement between the U.S. and China last year would be a good first step for Australia to emulate, as it has the highest per-capita emissions of any developed country. By setting a goal close to China’s, Australia could level-off its CO2 emissions by 2030 while investing further in green energy like wind or solar (which it has an advantage in, as it receives the most solar radiation of any country on earth). It’s not a quick fix by any means, but a timescale such as this would give Australia’s economy time to ease itself away from using carbon like it does today while providing some space for the market to adapt to alternatives.

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