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Scientists share their view on carbon tax -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Setting aside politics and economics, let's ask the bottom line question:
will this carbon tax have an impact on the environment?

A vast majority of the scientific community has been calling for action to reduce emissions for
years.

So how do they view the Government's package? Mike Sexton sought the opinion of three leading
scientists.

MIKE SEXTON, REPORTER: According to the UN Convention on Climate Change, the world needs to reduce
its emissions dramatically in the next half-century or risk the planet's temperature rising by two
degrees. The Federal Government promises a carbon tax will cut Australia's emissions by 80 per cent
by 2050.

BARRY BROOK, CHAIR CLIMATE CHANGE, ADELAIDE UNI.: The carbon price alone especially at $23 a
tonne's not gonna do that, obviously. That's gonna require a complete reinvention of our energy
system. But you do need a trigger for change. If we are gonna reinvent it, we need to start now.

MIKE SEXTON: Professor Barry Brook from the University of Adelaide applauds the Government, but
believes it must now strip back programs such as renewable energy certificates and feed-in tariffs
to create an even playing field for all technologies, including nuclear power.

BARRY BROOK: The carbon tax is a much more general compensation for these technologies. It's
saying, "If you emit less carbon dioxide as part of your energy generation, then you'll be more
competitive on the basis of a carbon price." The problem is if you've left all these other
selective devices in there at the same time, then not everything that can reduce emissions cost
competitively will be chosen because it may be excluded.

PETER COOK, CRC, GREENHOUSE GAS TECHNOLOGIES: It needs far more than $23 a tonne of carbon to bring
in wind power or bring in solar power or bring in geothermal or bring in CCS.

MIKE SEXTON: Professor Peter Cook from the Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies says renewables
won't deliver the necessary cuts in time, and so carbon capture and storage is needed to shrink the
carbon footprint. He argues CCS should've been included for funding by the Clean Energy Finance
Corporation.

PETER COOK: Whilst people may hope that renewables can do it all, the fact of the matter is they
cannot. And a very significant part of the heavy lifting in terms of the greenhouse problem is
gonna have to come from carbon capture and storage.

SNOW BARLOW, LAND & ENVIRONMENT, MELBOURNE UNI: The nation is gonna have to adapt and particularly
the land-based sector, which has seen some glimpses of what the future might look like, needs to
continue with adaptation programs and indeed adaptation research, because before all these carbon
measures click in fully, we're gonna see a lot of climate change yet.

MIKE SEXTON: Professor Snow Barlow from Melbourne University's School of Land and Environment
thinks the carbon price will boost land management programs because there's now certainty for
selling carbon credits.

SNOW BARLOW: We've gotta get case studies of showing people how on the land how they can generate
carbon credits. We have now certainty where they can sell them, but we've gotta demonstrate how
they can develop them and how they can measure them.

MIKE SEXTON: Whether it delivers the emission cuts it promises remains to be seen, but all those
studying it agree the carbon tax will change the dynamic across the country.

BARRY BROOK: I think it's a bold initiative from Australia and other nations need to follow suit.
Then we can really lick this problem.

LEIGH SALES: Mike Sexton reporting there.