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The Carbon Debate Heats Up (Part Two)

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In this second part of my discussion with Ian Dunlop, chairman of Safe Climate Australia, we talk about what climate change means for capitalism. Can we change our behaviour in a system that demands continual growth?

Ian says the free market has served us well, but needs regulation. Our quest for laissez-faire economics means a lot of checks and balances have been removed,to our detriment.

Carbon pricing is an attempt to keep our current system alive, but reflect the true cost of economic inputs that pollute our atmosphere. Ian says it is not a tax, but the removal of an enormous subsidy that the fossil fuel industry has enjoyed since the start of the industrial revolution.

To stop temperatures rising by four or five degrees, he reckons we need to reduce carbon by as much as 50 percent by 2020, with complete decarbonisation by 2050. That’s a big ask from a country planning to double its coal exports over the next ten years.

First published on CBS News

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