The Clean Air Society Australia/New Zealand (CASANZ) is seeking public responses before April 2 to assist with preparation of a submission on “Working towards a National Clean Air Agreement” - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R3CY526
Questions & ideas for responses. Put into your own words for maximum effect.
1. The proposed goal of the National Clean Air Agreement is “The sustained reduction in air pollution and exposure for all Australians, with associated health, environmental and economic benefits.” Do you agree with this goal?
It's too vague. The aim should be to use available resources to maximize the benefits of reducing pollution. Rephrase as:
Implement all cost-effective measures to maximize the sustained reduction in air pollution and exposure for all Australians, with associated health, environmental and economic benefits
2. A number of current and planned activities are proposed for inclusion in the initial 2-year work plan. What do you consider the priority is for including each of the following activities?
The estimated health cost of wood heaters in NSW was $8 billion, equivalent to about $20-24 billion for all Australia, about 6 times the benefits from all other measures put together. The priority should be to implement all cost-effective measures starting with those that have the largest net benefit - i.e. achieve the $20-24 billion net benefits from cleaning up wood heater pollution.
3. It is anticipated that achieving this goal would be facilitated by
a) “Providing a facilitating framework to identify specific air quality issues where concentrated effort is needed and will afford health, environmental and economic benefits.”
Reviews have already identified $20-24 billion of savings from cleaning up pollution from domestic wood heaters, $1.9 billion from adopting US standards for non-road diesels, $0.6 billion from adopting new standards for boat engines and lawnmowers, $0.6 billion from adopting international best practice particulate control at coal mines, $0.35 billion from a MOU to reduce shipping vessel speeds for ocean transits, $0.1 billion for diesel trains driver assistance software for line haul locomotives, as well as other cost-effective savings. The best way to achieve the goal of sustained reductions in air pollution and exposure and achieve the associated health, environmental and economic benefits would be to provide a facilitating framework to ensure the cost-effective measures that have already been identified are implemented.
4. b) “Formalising cooperative management of air quality at the national, state and local levels to help develop effective and efficient policy settings to ensure Australia can respond to current and emerging air quality priorities.” Agree.
5. A set of principles has been proposed to support prioritisation and decision-making under the Agreement. Please indicate the importance you place on each principle.
The primary principle for prioritizing the decision-making should be the net benefit, i.e. the health and environmental benefits less the cost. All the other principles are secondary and should be considered as part of the implementation process after the priorities have been set.
6. A number of measures have been suggested for including in the scope of the Agreement. Please indicate your view on the priority of each of the following.
Comment: Some of the measures listed above are distractions that are likely to hinder the real goal of reducing the health costs of air pollution. Australia survived the Global Financial Crisis because of effective regulation, not partnerships with industry. For similar reasons, effective regulations will be the best way to reduce air pollution and associated health costs.
7. Should the Agreement include a commitment on the level of resources required for each measure? Strongly Agree.
8. Are there other current or emerging air quality issues that require action by government? Suggestions
It's pointless to worry about 'emerging issues' until the current priorities have been dealt with.
9. Are there other/overseas initiatives in air quality that would you like to see implemented in Australia? Comment/Suggestions
Montreal does not permit new wood stoves to be installed and existing ones are being phased out.
10. What role(s) would you like CASANZ to play in the National Clean Air Agreement? Comment, suggested role(s)
Encouraging a focus on the priorities that are expected to achieve the greatest health benefits for the least cost, e.g. cleaning up domestic wood smoke emissions.