This is not net zero economic modeling. It’s right next.


This is billed as “modeling”, but the analysis provided to support the government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can only be characterized as “adjacent modeling”.

The 100 pages of evidence supporting the Coalition’s Australian Way has numbers and uses a lot of economic jargon to make it look like a model. But it is clearly written to support government policy rather than a full and unvarnished assessment of the costs and benefits of achieving net zero based on the path the government chooses.

Scott Morrison sells his “Australian Way” on climate change to the world. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

For example, the report talks about the employment opportunities offered by the Australian economy‘s transition to a net zero future.

The extraction and export of minerals like cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, uranium and rare earths could “support up to 52,000 new jobs” in regions such as the south of the Western Australia, the Pilbara and South Australia.

There are a clearly identifiable number of new jobs. But when it comes to which sector will be most affected by a net zero crossing, the modeling only tells us that the value of coal will halve by 2050.

No mention of the number of jobs that will disappear. To admit that would give too much ammunition to sharp opponents, especially those in the Coalition.

Since this is from McKinsey’s own internal database, it will forever hide behind the secrecy of the property.

There is no cost of climate change left on the economy. The Treasury has not been called upon to do this vital work since the Coalition took office.

This is an obvious shortcoming. Why even commission a study on the cost of reducing emissions if you don’t know the cost of climate change?

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