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Costs and benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 15 / 11 / 1991

The report resulted from an Industry Commission public inquiry, in response to a request from the Commonwealth Government, into the costs and benefits to Australia of participating in a possible international consensus to reduce emissions by the year 2005 to a level 20 per cent lower than in 1988, the new opportunities that could arise for Australian industry as a result of that international consensus; and how Australia would best prepare itself to respond to those costs and benefits.

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  • Contents

Cover, Copyright, Signing Page, Acknowledgements, Contents, Abbreviations, Terms of Reference, Overview

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Scope of the reference
1.3 Participants' views
1.4 Structure of the report

2 The Greenhouse Effect
2.1 What is the greenhouse effect?
2.2 The enhanced greenhouse effect: IPCC report
2.3 Surprises and dissent
2.4 Why have concentrations increaded?

3 Policy Responses
3.1 Nature of the policy problem
3.2 The range of policy instruments
3.3 Criteria
3.4 Assessing possible instruments
3.5 Concluding remarks

4 Benefits of an International Consensus
4.1 The nature of the benefits
4.2 Quantifying the benefits
4.3 Estimating benefits for Australia
4.4 Summing up

5 Costs of Global Consensus
5.1 Required reduction in emissions
5.2 Global impact of emission cuts
5.3 Costs of abatement depend on instruments used
5.4 Implications for Australia
5.5 The role of new technology
5.6 Summing up

6 Weighing Costs and Benefits of Global Consensus
6.1 The decision framework: a global perspective
6.2 Costs and benefits to Australia
6.3 Summing up

7 Achieving an International Consensus
7.1 State of play
7.2 Influences at work
7.3 Prospects of consensus with Toronto-type targets
7.4 Alternative/interim possibilities

8 benefits and Costs of Plurilateral Agreements
8.1 Climate benefits from plurilateral agreements
8.2 Costs to Australia of a plurilateral agreements
8.3 Weighing up

9 Benefits and Costs of Unilateral Action
9.1 Climate benefits from unilateral action
9.2 Costs to Australia of unilateral action
9.3 Weighing up the costs and benefits of unilateral action

10 Oppertunities for Australia Industry
10.1 Factors influencing opportunities
10.2 Possible opportunities
10.3 Some illustrations
10.4 Making the most of new opportunities

11 Some Policy Implications
11.1 International strategies
11.2 Domestic strategies


VOLUME 2: Appendices

Cover, Copyright, Contents

A Inquiry procedures

B Government responses to possible climate change

C The science of the greenhouse problem

D The economics of the greenhouse problem

E Lessons from international agreements

F Case studies

G Economic modelling of greenhouse gas emissions

H Modelling workshop

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