Last week, three senior Australian economists criticized the Abbott government's policies on climate change. Economist Ross Garnaut and former Treasury secretary Ken Henry attacked the government’s “direct action” policy, whereby companies and farmers would be paid to reduce emissions, arguing that it would cost close to $4 or $5 billion—rather than the $1.5 billion the government predicted. Former Reserve Bank governor and current chairman of the Climate Change Authority Bernie Fraser followed suit on Wednesday with an address to the National Press Club. He said that the Abbott government was working in the short term interests of business rather than the long term interest of the public, and expressed surprise over the “brazenness and scale” of the government’s opposition to carbon and mining taxes. Fraser also added that Australia was at risk of being left behind other countries in the fight against climate change. All three economists support carbon pricing as the most effective way to reduce emissions. For the full story, see For more on the direct action policy, see