Untangling the carbon tangle.

    If Australia was a business, considering the challenge of what to do about of carbon emissions would have a couple of characteristics that would have engaged the country’s boardroom:

  1. It is pretty obvious that some legislative framework will emerge to address what is a generally accepted problem. Even in the absence of legislation, the drivers of commercial sustainability are changing under our feet, and so we need to change quicker than they are to provide returns to stakeholders that continue to attract capital and skills in a globally competitive environment.
  2. Nothing Australia can do on its own will have any real impact on global emissions
  3. Anything we do will increase costs, if we do more than others, our costs go up more than others, making us uncompetitive.
  4. We would acknowledge the necessity of making strategic investments to accommodate and benefit from the changes as they occur, rather than being behind the 8-ball. Simple risk management.
  5. We would have looked at the changed capabilities our business needed to innovate,  project manage, and leverage  the regulatory and “commercial environmental” changes as they occur.

    Instead of this risk/resource/return type of planning and decision making we have:

  7. Liberals doing a “Canute”  burying their heads in the sand.
  8. Greens using perhaps short term electoral leverage to get us all into hair shirts sitting around (plantation sourced)log fires  holding hands singing kum-by-yah.
  9. The government on an electoral knife-edge trying to please whoever spoke last.
  10. Voters being disenfranchised, simply because there is no political group taking a position that approximates a sensible long term, common sense  view of what we should be doing, and besides, we do not trust any of them.

    Back to our business analysis, what should we be doing?

  12. Taking small experimental steps to determine the cost/benefit of various alternatives  before we make “bet the farm” decisions.  Politicians should by now be aware of how unintended consequences can really stuff up a good idea (remember home insulation, health care changes, public/private partnerships et al)
  13. Being both strategic and agile in the way we structure the systems. Setting a price on carbon in a vacuum is stupid, but setting a very modest price and being prepared to vary it to quantify outcomes, and combining carbon price with elements of an ETS, makes sense, despite the uncertainty of the final level of cost impost that would remain. Combine this  with support for  the development and testing of innovative technology (which means most of the initiatives will fail, poison to attracting Government support but essential in an innovative system) being immune to the bleating of special interest groups, and relooking at the “carpark” of existing ideas and technologies previously parked for various reasons, would create a policy mix that has some potential to deliver for stakeholders…. Us!.
  14. Easy. Untangled.



About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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2 Responses to Untangling the carbon tangle.

  1. Pingback: Energy, Innovation, technical capability, and common sense. | StrategyAudit

  2. Pingback: Marketing problem of the climate debate. | Strategyaudit's Blog

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