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Australia's response to the Framework Convention on Climate Change

Hodgson, N. and Barns, I. (1998) Australia's response to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Sciebce and Public Policy, 25 (3). pp. 142-154.

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Why has Australian Government policy on measures to deal with anthropogenic climate change moved from the adoption of the Toronto target in 1990 to steadfast opposition by the present Howard Government to the reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions involved in the Framework Convention in Climate Change? An important underlying factor in inhibiting effective policy responses to the challenge of climate change is the effect of a taken-forgranted paradigm of instrumental rationality in policy deliberation. This is manifest in three important ways: in the dominant public policy approach of economic rationalism, which has framed the issue in narrowly economistic terms and has made public policy development even more vulnerable to capture by interest groups; in a scientistic approach to issues of climate change predictions which has allowed ‘scientific uncertainty’ to be used as a justification for lack of policy action; and in an instrumentalist approach to questions of technological change, which has allowed the use of economic modelling to limit policy debate about alternative energy scenarios.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Science and Technology Policy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © Beech Tree Publishing 1998
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