This Table shows Greenhouse Gas Emission, ranked in order and and showing the percentage of the total. The source is the World Resources Unit – 2005, and Wikipedia.
So Australia with 1.47% addresses climate change with $23 a tonne tax. This may well reduce our carbon footprint, however it would be a shame if that was at the cost of productivity, especially if that productivity then moved off to China or India where it may well generate more greenhouse gas that it would if it had been produced in Australia.
These figure take on a different perspective when you compare the populations as a percentage of world population, and help determine who is punching above their weight. In an ideal world that ratio would be 1. So China is doing better on this rank and Australia would appear to be a very poor performer.
In terms of addressing the problems, it would seem that we need to produce less greenhouse gas, and a 5% reduction by China would have a major impact, where as a 10% reduction by Australia may have seemingly less impact.
I am aware that there are other issues, and that productivity is important, as is land area, however I wonder why we produce so much. I would like to be part of a solution, not part of a problem. Looking at the table suggests that we should be reducing our Greenhouse gas emissions by 80% not 20%. Of course that is probably not even sensible and I suggest that there are many things about these numbers that I do not understand.
Unfortunately I suspect there are a number of people in the House of Representatives who do not understand these numbers either nor what they mean.