Thursday, January 1, 2015

Explaining Australia's New Carbon Pricing Scheme to Students

Students at the Australian National University will be studying "ICT Sustainability" (COMP7310) again from February 2015. The students learn to estimate carbon emissions from ICT and then come up with ways to reduce them using ICT.

This year I had the problem of revising the course to take into account changes in Australian greenhouse gas regulations. This turned out not to be as difficult as I had thought. Most of the technical standards for the previous Labor Government's carbon pricing system have been retained by the Collation.

The difference is that rather than organizations paying to emit carbon (with a market to be introduced to set the price), they bid at a reverse auction to remove carbon for the lowest price. So I had to only change a few words about the old scheme and add a sentence on the new one. This is not to say the new scheme will be as effective at reducing emissions, just that in terms of the people doing the accounting and auditing of it (where my students can get jobs), it is not that different.

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