Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The Federal Treasury has not modeled the effects of climate change and emission reductions on the nation’s economy for years and has revealed its limited involvement in the government’s new plan for net zero in 2050.

As part of the preparation of the federal government’s emission reduction strategy, Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy told the Senate’s estimates that the department made two staff members available to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) for secondment, participated in intergovernmental committees and gave broad counseling. .

Senate Finance Secretary Steven Kennedy estimates earlier this year.

Senate Finance Secretary Steven Kennedy estimates earlier this year.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Dr. Kennedy said the Treasury Department – which is responsible for economic and fiscal policy, market regulation and the federal budget – had not been asked to provide models for climate change for years.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during Question Time on Wednesday that the modeling underlying the latest net-zero plan from DISER and global management consultants McKinsey & Company may not be released to the public in a “few weeks”. The UN climate conference in Glasgow, where Mr Morrison will commit Australia to the net zero timeline, starts on Sunday.

In the past, the Treasury has taken a leading role in providing advice and modeling the effects of different climate outcomes on the economy.

In response to questions from Labor Senator Jenny McAllister about whether the Treasury Department has been modeling climate change for the past eight years, Dr. Kennedy that there had been no one since he became secretary or in the period immediately before that. Dr. Kennedy was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in September 2019.

Dr. Kennedy further said the Treasury Department did not advise on the extent of the latest net zero 2050 by modeling it, but instead focused on the risk of interest rate surcharges.

Senator McAllister asked why the Treasury served a “limited function” and questioned the “unusual” scheme.

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