First published in Crikey, 23 May 2011
The Critical Decade report released today by the Climate Commission calls for a "fresh approach" to setting emission reduction targets, in particular by using a global "carbon budget".
But what does that mean for Australia? The answer, grounded in peer-reviewed science, is beyond political belief.
The "carbon budget" approach was first outlined in early 2009, and described in "Humanity's carbon budget set at one trillion tonnes" and "How The '2 Degrees Celsius Target' Can Be Reached".
Two peer-reviewed articles asked the question: how many more tonnes of carbon can humans pour into the air until 2050 before a 2-degree temperature increase is the result? A commentary by both sets of authors was published in "Nature" as "The exit strategy".