Business Daily Media

Marketing is getting in the way of markets that could get us to net-zero

  • Written by Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW
Marketing is getting in the way of markets that could get us to net-zero

This week the prime minister entered full marketing mode.

Scott Morrison’s topic was climate change and his plans to get to net-zero.

At the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, he tried out a few slogans[1].

Among those he test marketed:

  • can do capitalism, not ‘don’t do governments’

  • no one passed a law or introduced a tax or passed a resolution at the UN that led to the world developing a COVID vaccine, no one passed a law for the world to move digital, Google and Cochlear were not invented at a UN workshop or summit

  • Australia has already reduced our emissions by more than 20%, now, our emissions are going down, not up, they’re down by more than 20%

He said a bunch of other stuff, but those are my top three.

He wants to contrast his approach with certain United Kingdom and US environmentalists, who do indeed want to restrict what people can buy or do. Ideas like mandatory “meatless Mondays[2]” and banning advertising for SUVs[3] do indeed have no place in Australia, or even in the UK for that matter.

Read more: Economists back carbon price, say benefits of net-zero outweigh costs[4]

And nor does telling people where to drive, although the prime minister assured us he was not going to tell people “where to drive or where they can’t drive[5].

Economists don’t like such ideas either. The whole idea behind a price on carbon (whether through a carbon tax or a system of tradable permits) is to respect people’s preferences, while making sure their decisions take account of the costs they impose on others.

Innovations often come from government

His second claim was that innovation (things like the COVID vaccine, Google search and digitisation) isn’t sparked by governments.

While it’s true that "Google and Cochlear were not invented at a UN workshop or summit”, to suggest that governments played no role is to wilfully ignore history.

The miraculous Moderna mRNA vaccine was developed… checks notes… in partnership with the US National Institutes of Health. Moderna received[6] nearly US$10 billion in taxpayer funding.

Much of the work on the Cochlear ear implant was done at the largely government-funded University of Melbourne[7]; the internet revolution grew from the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency[8]; and Google’s search algorithm was developed by fully-funded graduate students at Stanford University[9], whose endowment is tax exempt.

Very often, cuts in emissions come from government

Morrison emphasised on Wednesday that Australia has reduced emissions by 20%.

It’s natural to ask what brought it about. Much of it was a cutback in land clearing, which is counted as emissions reduction under the rules. Land clearing is regulated by government[10].

Much of the rest happened during the two years Australia had a carbon price in place, as this chart shows.

Australian emissions excluding land use, land-use change and forestry

Million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum, updated quarterly. Climate Council, Department of Industry[11]

The claimed 20% reduction owes much to the laws and summits the prime minister derides.

All prime ministers are politicians, so isn’t surprising they spin narratives. But to spin one so sharply at odds with reality is surprising.

When it comes to “technology not taxes[12]”, the truth is it is often taxes that drive the development and uptake of technologies.

Read more: Top economists call for measures to speed the switch to electric cars[13]

Importantly, taxes don’t specify the particular technologies that will emerge.

Perhaps that’s why the nation’s peak body for can-do-capitalitsts – the Business Council of Australia – has asked the government to subject more businesses to Australia’s existing little-known (weak) price on carbon[14].

If we are going to get to net-zero, we need less marketing and more markets. Now there’s a slogan.

References

  1. ^ slogans (www.pm.gov.au)
  2. ^ meatless Mondays (www.mondaycampaigns.org)
  3. ^ banning advertising for SUVs (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ Economists back carbon price, say benefits of net-zero outweigh costs (theconversation.com)
  5. ^ where to drive or where they can’t drive (www.minister.industry.gov.au)
  6. ^ Moderna received (www.nytimes.com)
  7. ^ University of Melbourne (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  8. ^ Advanced Research Projects Agency (historycooperative.org)
  9. ^ Stanford University (infolab.stanford.edu)
  10. ^ regulated by government (theconversation.com)
  11. ^ Climate Council, Department of Industry (www.climatecouncil.org.au)
  12. ^ technology not taxes (www.pm.gov.au)
  13. ^ Top economists call for measures to speed the switch to electric cars (theconversation.com)
  14. ^ price on carbon (d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net)

Authors: Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW

Read more https://theconversation.com/vital-signs-marketing-is-getting-in-the-way-of-markets-that-could-get-us-to-net-zero-171602

Business Today

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow. “Around 75% of businesses who come ...

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with more powerful, proactive methods enabled by...

3 in 4 fundraisers have experienced sexual harassment on the job – often because of inappropriate behavior from donors

Sexual harassment is a common workplace hazard for nonprofit fundraisers.fizkes/iStock/Getty Images PlusWhile the #MeToo movement that raised public awareness of sexual harassment is making fewer headlines than it did in 2017 and ...

Cathay Pacific 2021 Sustainability Report

New commitments in carbon neutrality and diversity, and supporting the Hong Kong community during the pandemicThe Cathay Pacific Group has released its annual Sustainable Development Report that addresses its commitment and prog...

Cozycozy, is tackling consumer manipulation in the travel industry

With its user-centric algorithm, Cozycozy fights against the Online Travel Agencies' rampant manipulation of consumers’ choices. In 2019, 112.3 million domestic trips and 11.3 Million international trips were taken by Austral...

Foreign companies exiting Russia echo the pressure campaign against South Africa's racist apartheid system

McDonald's is leaving Russia after three decades of operating there.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesMcDonald’s provided many Russians with their first taste of capitalism three decades ago. Now, the global fast-f...

Business Daily Media Business Development

Why growing small businesses are rejecting traditional loans to stay afloat

Australian small businesses look for alternatives to fund growth A record number of Australian small businesses are ditching traditional bank loans to fund growth and generate cash flow...

Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick - avatar Optipay CEO Angus Sedgwick

The most common mistakes active travellers make that put their lives in danger

PIONEERING scale-up Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) is calling for the phasing out of historic methods that rely on crash data for managing pedestrian risk on our roads with mor...

Simon Washington, AMAG CEO - avatar Simon Washington, AMAG CEO

Rishi Sunak's £15 billion cost-of-living package and windfall tax: four experts respond

Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, has unveiled a £15 billion package of measures to help households with the cost of living, after energy watchdog Ofgem announced it wou...

Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance, The Open University - avatar Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance, The Open University

the economic tactics that drive Liverpool and Real Madrid

Liverpool against Real Madrid in the Champions League final is a fixture for football fans to savour – two giants battling it out for one of the most prized trophies in the game. And r...

Simon Chadwick, Global Professor of Sport | Director of Eurasian Sport, EM Lyon - avatar Simon Chadwick, Global Professor of Sport | Director of Eurasian Sport, EM Lyon

Cathay Pacific 2021 Sustainability Report

New commitments in carbon neutrality and diversity, and supporting the Hong Kong community during the pandemicThe Cathay Pacific Group has released its annual Sustainable Development Repor...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

Cozycozy, is tackling consumer manipulation in the travel industry

With its user-centric algorithm, Cozycozy fights against the Online Travel Agencies' rampant manipulation of consumers’ choices. In 2019, 112.3 million domestic trips and 11.3 Million i...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media



NewsServices.com

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion