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Hamilton's account of Australia's Kyoto

Comments on Clive Hamilton "Australia hit its Kyoto target, but it was more a three-inch putt than a hole in one", 16/07/2015

It is an interesting account of Australian government's strategy and tactics on the Kyoto negotiations, although we need also analyse why the rest of the world accepted Australia's demand back then.

One of the main reasons could be that studies showed that the impact on the Australian economy of an equal proportionate reduction in emissions was projected to be harder than on most other international economies. I remember that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics (ABARE) had done researches and policy simulations that may have fed into the Australian government's policy stance.

Of course, research is one thing and how research is used by people and/or governments is entirely another.

Further, it is probably not too much a stretch of imaginations that each and every country would have done some studies on emissions reduction policies and adopted what it thought the best in those negotiations. ABARE's research was probably qualitatively correct, even though one may argue about the specific results ABARE had got and supplied to the Australian government.

On another point, the author has argued quite reasonably why Russia got its bargain. If that argument is true, then the quoted of being "bracketed Australia with OPEC and Russia as the principal obstacles to progress in the negotiations", by two German analysts, Sebastian Oberthur and Hermann Ott, that was "two years later, when the dust had settled", as follows was unreasonable at least as far as Russia was concerned as it didn't take into account Russia's special circumstances:

"The Kyoto targets surely have two main winners: Russia and Australia… The considerable increase in emissions allowed to Australia … has set a bad precedent for future negotiations, especially with regard to developing countries."

If those two Germans are serious researchers, their arguments showed significant weakness. As a result, it simply demonstrates that even serious people can get their arguments wrong, either deliberately to be misleading or unintentionally as innocent errors.

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