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Carbon White Paper: Real Politic, Business Opportunities & What To Do

(Below paper published as a Hawker Britton occasional paper: see for the whole article)

NOW that the heated first round of responses to the Rudd Government’s carbon trading White Paper is cooling, it is worthwhile looking at how businesses can do two very important things in the face of inevitable climate policy progress.

Californian experience in Chain Reaction

Here's a link to a piece I wrote for Friends of the Earth and the Chain Reaction publication on the Californian energy and carbon expereince in regard to Australia's path.

The ethics of carbon

Taking on the topic of 'carbon ethics' was always going to be a challenge, but it came off well for Green Capital's November 2008 events in Melbourne and Sydney. This is an opinion piece written by Jeff Angel and myself.

It’s a question of carbon ethics

Al Gore says it well to 'Repower America'

There's a great vision in this, and much that Australia can draw on. Al Gore writing in The New York Times with a message to President-elect Barack Obama and the American nation.

View online:

Whale-sized pride for a friend and relative

Several years ago a conversation with my brother-in-law Ross Isaacs about a film idea led to me writing my book, The 3rd Degree, published in 2007. We were trying to define a compelling link between his great passion, the story of the humpback whales, and my climate change interest (some would say obsession).

Sustainability Insider* says: Don't let carbon neutral be a nonsense

Good ideas often get mucked up in the execution. By example, setting challenging targets to improve environmental and social performance, as with the financial kind, is generally a good thing in business. So is measuring performance against such targets.

Yet carbon neutrality, one of the great eco-target concepts of the early 21st century, is in danger of becoming nonsense. Carbon ‘foot-printing’, the relevant measurement process, risks heading the same way.

Simple calculation of carbon risk/opportunity

A lot of businesses are looking for a simple way to understand the carbon exposure - whether risk or opportunity - for their operations, or perhaps just particular products.

So what would a business environmentalist do?

The attached slide provides a basic ready-reckoner by looking at the interaction of profitability and greenhouse gas emissions. The happy face is low carbon emission and high profitability, because that's the sweet spot.

Why the 3rd Degree? Some clues

'Scientists agree an average temperature increase of 2 degrees or more would result in dangerous and irreversible climate change. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 25-40% of 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid severe social, economic and environmental impacts.' - WWF Australia, November 6, 2008

An oldie but a goodie (I know, goldie)

Six years ago, in the wake of the crash, 9/11 and spectacular corporate collapses like WorldCom and Enron, colleagues and I at Ecos Corporation published 'Single Bottom Line Sustainability'. Many argue the business value case for sustainability nowadays, but it's worth revisiting in these (Chinese curse) interesting times.

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Challenging times for carbon offsets

The advent of a mandated national emissions trading scheme poses challenges for the voluntary market that began when the Australian Government didn't want to know about a price on carbon. See 'Crunch Time for Carbon Offsets'.

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