Post Copenhagen – what do we think?

Four months on from the Global Copenhagen climate conference and people in Australian may be feeling that climate change and carbon pricing is off the agenda. But is it?

The graph shows worldwide and Australian news reports on climate change (data from Dow Jones Factiva). After the expected peak of reporting in December 2009, during the Copenhagen conference, the media’s focus on climate change this year is similar to 2009. At least in quantity.

Clearly the media is only part of the picture. Before Copenhagen, Andrew Norton at the Australian Centre for Independent Studies summarised opinion polls. The results show consistent public support, high urgency, for action on climate change. They also show a majority of people are willing to pay, although the analysis does not consider the substantial cost and carbon savings that can also be made from energy efficiency.

We would say that carbon pricing is still very much on the agenda. Google’s Dan Reicher summarises this well. He said recently that carbon pricing is an “essential signal we have to get to” and “money is sitting there to make significant investments”.

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