Economic data for a decarbonising world

Net zero is the destination and data can light the way

Australia is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This is a massive undertaking for an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed economy and an opportunity that Australia is well-positioned to take. Governments, investors, businesses and communities all have a role to play in restructuring our economy to ensure Australia thrives in a net zero world.

The right data made widely available can show the way and steer us towards destination net zero. Climate data can show the physical risks we need to manage, emissions data can show us what needs to change; but only economic data can show us how regions, and the broader Australian economy, can best navigate this transition in terms of jobs, investment and trade.

The Climate Change Authority today releases its new Insights Paper Economic data for a decarbonising world, offering three key insights:

Zoom in, not out: Zooming out can help simplify information to guide investment and purchase decisions, but only granular data can help us understand and plan for the transformation of the economy. For example, the beef industry’s transition path could be better understood if we could zoom in on the broader ‘agriculture’ data bundle.

Bring datasets together: To make good decisions, businesses, governments and consumers need good information about the links between emissions, outputs and investment. Improving the alignment of economic, emissions and other data in a more detailed, comprehensive and timely way would be a sensible step.

Look ahead to plan ahead: As well as tracking economic impacts, economic data could yield insights about what might be to come for the economy. Electric vehicle import data and investment in low emissions research and development, for example, are leading indicators of emissions reductions to follow.

The Authority recommends that the Australian Government invest in the development of new economic data to help Australia identify and respond to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

To accompany the release of Economic data for a decarbonising world, the Authority is publishing a supporting technical report by Accenture – Measuring the low-emissions economy in Australia – that considers how Australia could define and measure its ‘low emissions economy’.

CCA Insights Paper [PDF] [Word]

Accenture technical report [PDF]

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