New Analysis: Brian Fisher Modelling Climate Outlier

The recent modelling of climate action produced by Brian Fisher is a complete outlier compared to an analysis of over 20 recent modelling exercises and Treasury models, according to new research from the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program.

An extensive comparison of 18 recent modelling reports and three Treasury models of climate action in Australia found the economic impacts of high ambition targets are very small to negligible.

Key findings:

  • 10 economy-wide models show Australia can pursue higher ambition targets and continue to enjoy strong economic growth.
  • The impact of high ambition action on GDP growth is small to negligible, less than of 0.14 per annum percentage points compared to no action, and the difference is even smaller compared to low ambition action.
  • Brian Fisher’s claims regarding the GDP impact from more ambitious domestic emissions reductions were more than 10 times greater than the impact in comparable models.
  • 12 reports focusing on the electricity sector show the impacts of higher ambition targets reduce power costs, or result in a modest and manageable increase, including for 100% renewables.

“Brian Fisher’s latest model of climate costs was off-the-chart. It shows cost to GDP impacts that were five to ten times larger than every other economy-wide model, including those from Warwick McKibbin, Climateworks, ANU, CSIRO, Victoria University and three major reports from Commonwealth Treasury,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.

“There is extensive literature on the cost of climate action in Australia including modelling from or commissioned by the Government. All 22 reports analysed show the cost of higher emission reduction targets is small, even when ignoring the benefits.

“Every reputable institution modelling climate costs including the Government’s own economic advisers and Treasury, show higher climate ambition has a negligible impact on the economy.

“Fisher’s claims regarding the so-called huge economy-wide impacts and electricity price hikes are a complete outlier compared to over 20 other pieces of similar research.

“These claims do not stack up against the body of literature available or the actual Australian economic experience during the carbon price period, which saw 2% economic growth with 5% emissions reductions.

“The majority of Australians want the country to mobilise in a state of emergency to combat climate change with the same cooperation and commitment as a war effort. Meanwhile the Coalition Government has gone to great lengths to cherry-pick contrary advice and delay serious climate action.”

The new analysis by the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program was co-authored by Tom Swann, Senior Researcher at the Australia Institute and Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director.

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