The Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia, released in March 2010, outlines a comprehensive economy-wide blueprint for how Australia can achieve an ambitious reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while building a robust low-carbon economy. The Plan identifies 54 least-cost opportunities across the economy to achieve a 25% reduction in Australia's emissions below 2000 levels.
Based on detailed economic and policy analysis, the Plan identifies the actions required to reduce emissions, the barriers to their implementation, and their relative cost in six key sectors – power, forestry, industry, buildings, agriculture and transport.
Delaying action will mean some of these opportunities are lost, increasing the overall cost of Australia's transition to a low carbon economy.
Since its release, ClimateWorks has presented the findings of the Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia to thousands of people at conferences, events and seminars and has also shared the findings with a larger audience via radio and television interviews and media articles.
The Plan won the highly regarded Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change and the Ethical Investor Award for Sustainability Research in 2010.
About the cost curve
The marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) summarises our estimate of the realistic volume and costs of opportunities to reduce GHG emissions.
Each box on the curve represents a different opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The width of each box represents the emissions reduction potential that opportunity can deliver in 2020 compared to business-as-usual. And the height of each box represents the average net cost of abating one tonne of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) through that activity.
The graph is ordered left to right from the lowest cost to the highest cost opportunities. Those opportunities that appear below the the horizontal axis offer the potential for financial savings even after the upfront costs of capturing them have been factored in. Opportunities that appear above the horizontal axis are expected to come at a net cost.
The MACC includes only the lowest cost opportunities required to achieve a 25% reduction in Australia's emissions below 2000 levels by 2020. It excludes opportunities that require a significant change to the business mix of our economy, or changes to our lifestyles, as well as opportunities with a high degree of speculation or technological uncertainty.