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Tuesday, 7 October 2003
Page: 20732

Mr Martyn Evans asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 11 August 2003:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to the critique by Ian Castles and David Henderson of the economic and statistical work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) as published in an ongoing exchange in the journal “Energy and Environment”.

(2) Will he ensure that the matters raised in the various articles by Castles and Henderson and the responses from the IPCC Team are analysed by Treasury officials and other relevant Government statistical experts to ensure that emission projections are based on a sound economic and statistical footing.

(3) Will Australia take up this issue at the international level to clarify the complex issues involved in time for the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Review (AR4).

(4) Will he encourage the national Treasury and statistical officers of other OECD countries to be fully engaged in the development of the economic and statistical work of the IPCC to ensure that uncertainties of this nature do not arise in the future.

Dr Kemp (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Relevant departments and agencies have assessed the matters raised by Castles and Henderson. The Government will continue to examine emissions scenarios issues.

(3) Australia is committed to engaging with the IPCC to ensure the continued highest standards of scientific integrity, credibility and usefulness of the IPCC as the authoritative international source of advice on climate change science. In this context, Australia has encouraged further IPCC activity on emissions scenarios leading up to the development of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

(4) Australia will continue to encourage a range of experts both in Australia and other countries to consider these issues.