I was fortunate enough to get out in Adelaide last night and see Professor Ross Garnaut deliver his first presentation post the handing down of his final report. For the international readers, Professor Garnaut is the man chiefly responsible for designing an emissions trading scheme for Australia, or at the very least, making all the recommendations for the Government to then adopt, ignore or hopefully not water down too much with input from big business
You would never describe Garnaut as succinct, but he was cogent, clear, impeccably well reasoned and really, really knows his stuff. He was also a strong voice for national interest over vested interest. It was incredibly refreshing and inspiring to see that the unbridled idiocy that has characterised the public debate on the airwaves, on the floor of Parliament, and in newspapers bears no resemblance at all to the very serious work that is obviously taking place at the same time. I came away feeling a great deal more confident than I went in.
I maintain that in applying a market-based system for reducing emissions in the name of minimising costs, Australia must open itself to all the solutions the market can offer in order to derive full benefit. By arbitrarily excluding the biggest one of all in nuclear power, perverse outcomes can only ensue. I didn’t make a charge for the microphone last night in QA time though; a little voice inside told me it wasn’t the night. Pricing carbon is a very important enabler of solutions, and I did not wish to crash what was a pretty good party in terms of over 1,000 people turning out to voice their support for it.
Get out and see him present if you can. Thanks Professor Garnaut, nice work.