On the Record

Economist Calls for Bipartisan Approach on Climate

Warwick J. McKibbin

MARK COLVIN: One of Australia’s most respected economists, the ANU’s Professor Warwick McKibbin, has called for a bipartisan approach to climate change policy.

He says the private sector will start investing in renewable technologies when the two parties reach a mature agreement on climate change.

He made the comparison to the way they’ve agreed on some economic matters, like the independence of the Reserve Bank.

David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: It was impossible to escape the political heat last week – global warming was everywhere.

First there was the leaked information that the Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was at odds with his Government and favoured ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

Then his opposition counterpart, Peter Garrett, got into hot and rapidly rising waters, over whether developing countries should play a role in an agreement to replace Kyoto.

Along the way the merits of Labor’s plan for a sixty per cent cut in greenhouse emissions and the Coalition’s reluctance to name a similar target were debated at length.

But Warwick McKibbin, a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, argues little was achieved by the debate and says Australia may be better served if the parties worked together on the issue.

Read the entire interview transcript >>

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