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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Downsizing Climate Change

Earlier this month, the Australian Federal Government announced that the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) will cease to exist. Although reported in the press release as a mechanism to "improve the connections between climate policy and economic and industry policy and between energy efficiency programs and the wider energy policy agenda", the government also noted that having implemented a carbon tax, a separate department as no longer needed. This sentiment was also reflected in last year's cuts to funding for DCCEE and the recent announcement that the federally-supported National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility would cease to exist in 2013. Remaining functions of DCCEE will be consolidated into the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The Australian federal government appears to be sufferening from a case of goal substitution, with the implementation of a carbon tax replacing the broader national goal of developing a climate-resilient, low-carbon society.

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