Initial policy recommendations:
Addressing global warming and the effect of CO2 emissions is one of upmost importance, and it is just as difficult to solve. This phenomenon reduces economic growth, erodes food security and “triggers” new poverty traps. Australia and South East Asia in particular needs to adapt especially well due to its projected intense urbanisation. The urbanisation of ASEAN-5 countries has increased from 79million people in 1980 to an expected 452million in 2050. As such, this issue has become one of the forefront of OECD’s development goals, and Australia and its neighbours must be jolted into action with its ‘green growth’ innovation.
1. Stimulate ‘green’ innovation over exploiting natural resources by removing regulatory hindrances to ‘green growth’ firms. Private companies drive investment by seeking out profits in this area. The global market for energy solutions and renewables is expected to grow from $US390 billion in 2013, to an estimated $US2.3 trillion by 2035 (Beyond Zero Emissions report).
2. Implement environmental policies that create a comparative advantage for low carbon emitters. This may range from environmental taxes, to short-term incentives such as aligning subsidies with green growth goals. This aims to influence customer behaviour as well as promote innovation.
3. Regulate environmentally harmful practices. For example, mandatory minimum standards for buildings, appliances and vehicles that complement the long-term goal of net-zero emissions (ClimateWorks 2016 report).
4. Invest in information and education measures. This enables informed consumer behaviour, and fosters public support for low-carbon products. By extension this leads to a more strong and engaging role in international collaboration.