The Climate Change Authority recommendations on medium term emissions reduction targets released overnight represent a crude ambit claim without any regard for the impact on jobs and living standards of average Australians.

The proposal for a cut to Australia's emissions between 40 and 60 per cent by 2030 would, if implemented, slash economic growth, real wages and household living standards. No credible economic analysis is offered in support of the proposed targets.

A 40 per cent cut in emissions is equivalent to closing down Australia's electricity, transport and agriculture sectors.  It is neither feasible nor economically responsible.

Setting a mid-term emissions reduction target is a serious decision, not least because Australia has a proven track record of honouring its commitments.

The claim that Australia has been on the sidelines is just plain wrong and an insult to successive governments. Unlike most developed nations, Australia more than met its Kyoto obligations and is on track to meets its 2020 targets. 

Australia outperformed the European Union, the United States and many other developed nations with a 50 per cent improvement in its carbon productivity since 1990.

A comprehensive global pact will only succeed if it is based on the notion of comparative economic effort. 

Identical targets do not mean identical sacrifice.

Australia has an important role to play in forging a new global agreement. In preparation for Paris, a considered national debate on the scale of Australia's emissions reduction target is essential.  That discussion must be informed by credible and comprehensive economic analysis on the impacts of competing options on living standards, jobs and major economic sectors.

The CCA report has written itself out of that debate with a foolish contribution completely bereft of economic rigour.

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