Limited versus Unlimited Flexibility
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Johan Albrecht
Chapter 8: The Australian Greenhouse Challenge: Lessons learned and future prospects for voluntary approaches in climate policy
8. The Australian Greenhouse Challenge: Lessons learned and future prospects for voluntary approaches in climate policy Rory Sullivan and Robin Ormerod 1. INTRODUCTION Although Australia contributes only 1.4 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, it has the second highest emissions of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis (behind the USA). This is a consequence of Australia’s dependence on coal for electricity, high land-clearing rates and energy-intensive processing industries (Commonwealth of Australia, 1997, pp. 11–22). Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries and others with ‘economies in transition’ have agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases to at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Australia is one of a few countries with an increased emission limit being required to take measures to cap its greenhouse gas emissions at 108 per cent of its 1990 emissions, to be achieved on an annual basis over the ﬁve years from 2008 to 2012. From the most recent National Greenhouse Gas Inventory data (AGO, 2000a, p. A-3), Australia’s net annual greenhouse gas emissions in 1998 totalled 455.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (mt CO2e), representing an increase of 16.9 per cent over the 1990 levels of 389.8 mt CO2e. Emissions from stationary sources, which include electricity generation, petroleum reﬁning, gas processing, solid fuel manufacturing, manufacturing industries and construction, contribute 56.8 per cent of total national emissions; transport contributes 15.9 per cent and agriculture contributes 20.2 per cent. Forestry and other removals...
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