PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

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PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

InfrastructureAustralia2.5 Climate change2.5 Climate changeThe ‘lock-in’ effects ofinfrastructure, technologyand product design choicesmade by industrialisedcountries in the post-WorldWar II period of low energyprices are responsible for themajor recent increase in worldgreenhouse gas emissions. 41Climate change is a major economic,environmental and social issue for the21 st century.Sir Nicholas Stern’s 2006 Climate ChangeReview for the UK Government and ProfessorRoss Garnaut’s 2008 Climate Change Reviewin Australia have confirmed that the costs ofconducting business as usual far outweighthe costs of abatement and adaptation. 42The potential effects of unmitigatedclimate change in Australia are well known:increasing periods of drought, higher averagetemperatures, rising sea levels and moreextreme weather events. 43As the Australian Government’s Green Paper ona Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS)notes: “The longer we wait to take action onclimate change, the sharper the adjustmentto the economy will be when we are forced toact. Taking earlier action will allow an orderly,gradual transition to a low-carbon economy.Delaying action would require sharper, morerapid – and thus more costly – adjustmentslater.” 44 In response, the Australian Governmenthas developed a climate change policy builton three pillars:• Reducing Australia’s greenhousegas emissions by 60 per cent below2000 levels by 2050;• Adapting to climate change that we cannotavoid, but which represents considerablerisk to assets, investment, environments,communities and regional economies; and• Helping to shape a global solution thatboth protects the planet and advancesAustralia’s long-term interests.Investing in the right infrastructure andundertaking the necessary reforms to improvethe operation of the market is a vital componentin achieving these goals.New ‘green collar’ jobs are likely to result fromadditional infrastructure developed in responseto climate change and the impact of ‘peak oil’.It will be necessary to facilitate the developmentof ‘green skills’ for up to 3.25 million workers insectors that have an environmental impact. 45The following areas are key to addressingclimate change:a) Emissions tradingb) Energy security and peak oilc) Renewable Energy infrastructured) Carbon Capture and Storagee) Transport infrastructuref) Water infrastructure32 | Infrastructure Australia – Advising Government on Australia’s Infrastructure

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