Deep emission cuts are affordable: McKinsey

Australia can afford to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% by 2020 without endangering its economy, according to a new report by global management consultancy McKinsey.

McKinsey says its modelling shows that 30% cuts to emissions on 1990 levels – an achievement that would put Australia well on the way to achieving the 60% cuts by 2050 the Rudd Government has committed to – would cost around $3 billion a year.

Over 12 years that equates to roughly the same amount the Government will spend on the tax cut package it will roll out over the next three years.

The biggest cuts could come from introducing energy efficiency measures into factories, businesses and homes and the replacement of current land clearing with tree planting, McKinsey says.

However, the cuts may come too late for those who have invested in seaside property in hot spot areas along the Australian coastline.

The peak insurance industry body, the Insurance Council of Australia, is reportedly in the process of preparing a map of the coastal areas that will be in danger of flooding as sea levels rise due to global warming.

Cairns in northern Queensland, Byron Bay, Ballina and Wamberal in regional NSW and Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches are the areas that have already been identified as being particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels according to the scientist in charge of the project, Sydney University’s Peter Cowell.

The Local Government Association says the creation of the map is imperative for local councils considering opening up coastal land for development and insurers attempting to work out insurance premiums for property in those areas.


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