The Garnaut Climate Change Review was initiated in April 2007 by the then Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd, and by the Premiers of the six states and the Chief Ministers of the two territories of Australia. It was commissioned by the First Ministers on 30 April 2007. The Commonwealth Government joined the Review in January 2008 after Mr Rudd became Prime Minister of Australia.
The Review was required to examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, and to recommend medium- to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects of sustainable prosperity.
The Review’s secretariat was established in June 2007. Based within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, it included members from the public services of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. A secretariat office within the federal Department of Climate Change was set up in January 2008.
As part of its research and analysis, the Review consulted with a wide range of experts and stakeholders in Australia and overseas: academics, officials, government departments and public bodies, business leaders and representatives, and non-government organisations.
The Review produced four major documents as a basis for public discussion. An interim report was presented to First Ministers and released in February 2008; a discussion paper on the proposed emissions trading scheme in March, a draft report on 4 July and a supplementary draft report on 5 September.
The Review commissioned a number of papers on the impacts of climate change on Australia, which represent major contributions to the growing body of knowledge about these impacts. The papers are available on the Review’s website at <www.garnautreview.org.au>.
The methodology applied in, and the results of, the Review’s modelling have generated large volumes of analysis and information, of which this final report presents only a small proportion. A technical appendix to the report on the modelling is available on the website.
The Review has benefited substantially from interactions with other organisations and the community more generally at specialist forums, and public forums and lectures held around the country between August 2007 and September 2008. More than 10 000 people participated in these events over the course of the Review.
A formal submission process was also conducted, which attracted almost 4000 submissions. Interested stakeholders were encouraged to respond to a series of five issues papers, the discussion paper on the emissions trading scheme and the interim report, all of which stimulated considerable public discussion and debate on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Australia.
This final report is the last stage of a wide-ranging process that has transparently examined how Australia, as a single country, is likely to be affected by climate change, and how we can best contribute to climate change mitigation and start to adapt.