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Monday, October 27, 2014

Strategic CSR - Australia

The article in the url below contains a bad headline:
"Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax."
This matters because Australia was "one of the first major countries outside Europe to adopt a carbon price." More importantly, however, it matters because Australia is one of the highest carbon polluting countries, per capita, in the world:
"Australia, the world's 12th largest economy, is one of the world's largest per capita greenhouse gas emitters due to its reliance on coal-burning power stations to power homes and industry. In 2011, daily emissions per head amounted to 49.3 kilograms (108 pounds), almost four times higher than the global average of 12.8 kilograms, and slightly ahead of the U.S. figure of 48.2 kilograms."
The graphic accompanying the article shows Australia's carbon emissions relative to the rest of the G20—Australia is second only to Saudi Arabia:
What is also striking is that this decision by Australia runs counter to the global trend which, although achingly inertial, is at least moving in the right direction:
"The World Bank in May produced a State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report counting carbon pricing programs in 40 nations and 20 regions worth a collective US$30 billion, while also singling out repeal plans in Australia as one of the biggest international threats to the rollout of similar programs elsewhere, given its example."
Australia is not the only carbon bad news story, unfortunately. Both Japan and Canada, for essentially similar local, short-term political considerations, have also taken significant steps away from recent public commitments to lower their emissions:
"Japan last year retreated on pledges to cut greenhouse emissions, blaming the shutdown of its nuclear plants in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster for a decision to release 3% more greenhouse emissions by 2020 instead of a 25% cut on 1990 levels previously promised. … Canada withdrew from the Kyoto protocol in 2011, with the conservative government saying the agreement would unfairly penalize its fossil fuel-reliant economy for failing to meet a promised 6% cut."
In short, what was already a slow, incremental process worldwide has just became slower and further away from where we need to be.
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax
By Rob Taylor & Rhiannon Hoyle
July 17, 2014
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final