Research

SD will continue to be the home of topical research on sustainable development issues produced by the IPA. Recent reports include:

Climate change

Costly, ineffectual and protectionist carbon tariffs
December 2009 | By Tim Wilson and Caitlin Brown
This research paper assesses proposals for the introduction of carbon tariffs to offset the costs of domestic carbon price signals. The paper finds that carbon tariffs are likely to result in the introduction of a ten per cent average tariff in the United States on carbon-intensive goods, but is unlikely to address carbon leakage threats, would be administratively impossible to implement and the costs of carbon tariffs far outweigh their benefits.

Undermining mitigation technology
August 2008 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper analyses the emerging global campaign to undermine intellectual property on low carbon technology in an effort to increase access for the developing world, and the real barriers for the world’s poor accessing mitigation technology.

Trade

Green excuses: Collusion to promote protectionism?
August 2010 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper assesses the concerning trend towards consistency in the messages of industry, unions and green groups promoting green protectionism and its impact. The impacts are two-fold. The first is that protectionism will increase the cost-of-living for Australians. The second is that it will undermine the industry growth and job development opportunities for workers in the developing world.

Exposed: The inaccurate and inappropriate campaign by Zoos Victoria
June 2010 | By Tim Wilson
This report investigates the validity of the increasing criticism levied by Zoos Victoria at imported palm oil, as well as the policy solutions they propose. The report concludes that out of twelve ‘facts’ promoted by the zoo, only two are actual facts. The remainder cannot be substantiated or are blatantly false. The report also highlights the acutely political nature of the campaign and the misuse of taxpayer’s funds.

Costly, ineffectual and protectionist carbon tariffs
December 2009 | By Tim Wilson and Caitlin Brown
This research paper assesses proposals for the introduction of carbon tariffs to offset the costs of domestic carbon price signals. The paper finds that carbon tariffs are likely to result in the introduction of a ten per cent average tariff in the United States on carbon-intensive goods, but is unlikely to address carbon leakage threats, would be administratively impossible to implement and the costs of carbon tariffs far outweigh their benefits.

Innovating Indonesian Investment Regulation
May 2011 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper looks at recent reforms in Indonesian investment regulation and assesses the case for further liberalisation. In particular the paper identifies that the spirit of the 2007 investment reforms  should be continued to look at options like ownership divestment regulations, especially in an era of capital constraint where Indonesia will need to compete against other competitive investment destinations.

Naked Extortion? Environmental non-government organisations imposing [in]voluntary regulations on consumers and business
September 2011 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper brings to light new evidence that ‘voluntary’ certification schemes are being imposed on business and consumers as a tool in a game of Good Cop/Bad Cop by environmental non-government organisations.

Palming off livelihoods?: The misguided campaign against palm oil
November 2009 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper assesses campaigns against palm oil and their merit and identifies that the root cause of deforestation and the loss of orang-utan populations is caused by poverty, not palm oil.

New evidence of old concerns: Fair trade myths exposed … again
April 2008 | By Professor Sinclair Davidson and Tim Wilson
This research paper summarises recent research questioning the developmental benefits of ‘fair trade’ products produced in the developing world.

Upward pressure: The cost of politically abusing food labeling
June 2011 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper looks at Australian legislative changes to foster consumer boycotts against palm oil through labelling regulations. The report finds that fostering consumer boycotts could lead producers to switch to alternative ingredients around 20 per cent more expensive which would increase the price of food and exacerbate cost-of-living pressures. The paper also finds that the developing world poor would also be victim as a consequence.

Intellectual Property

HIV / AIDS medicines for all?
July 2007 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper analyses the arguments for compulsory licensing of patented medicines in Thailand and whether it will actually deliver the desired outcomes for the world’s poor.

Undermining mitigation technology
August 2008 | By Tim Wilson
This research paper analyses the emerging global campaign to undermine intellectual property on low carbon technology in an effort to increase access for the developing world, and the real barriers for the world’s poor accessing mitigation technology.