Public lecture to explain the impact of a carbon tax

Published 12 May 2011

mahindasiriwardanaIn his Inaugural Lecture to the Armidale community on Wednesday 18 May, the UNE economics professor Mahinda Siriwardana will outline his approach to modelling the impact of a carbon tax.

Professor Siriwardana’s lecture, titled “Carbon tax, the economy and carbon dioxide emissions: Measuring the effects”, will be presented in non-technical terms by a politically neutral, independent expert. It is designed to help members of the community understand this nationally significant issue.

Professor Siriwardana (pictured here) is an expert in the “computable general equilibrium” approach to such modelling, and has developed numerous models using this approach over the past 30 years. After considering a range of tax levels ($5-$40 per tonne of carbon) he will discuss the impact of a $30-per-tonne tax using a model he has recently developed for this purpose.

“A preliminary analysis undertaken by simulating the impact of a carbon tax of $30 per tonne using this new model reveals that, in the short run, Australia’s real GDP may decline by 0.71 per cent, consumer prices may rise by 0.77 per cent, and the price of electricity may increase by about 29 per cent,” he said. “The good news is that a carbon tax of this magnitude may allow Australia to make a substantial cut in its carbon dioxide emissions. The simulation results imply an emission reduction of about 9.2 per cent of the 2005-based emissions.”

“The lecture will also propose an appropriate compensation package to ease the pressure on households due to rising costs of living after the tax,” he added.

Everyone is welcome to this free lecture by UNE’s Professor Mahinda Siriwardana, which will be in Armidale Town Hall at 6.30 pm. In the tradition of UNE’s Inaugural Lectures, there will be an academic procession.

Supper in the Town Hall foyer will follow the lecture.