Ross Garnaut’s interim report in February was a remarkable document; unlike all previous official reports on climate change, it recognised the true implications of what the scientists are trying to tell us. For the first time, the analysis of emission reduction targets and the international structures required to achieve them were linked closely to the climate science.

The unusual directness of this link meant that the interim report’s analysis was less clouded by implicit political judgments about "what is feasible" and less attenuated by undue emphasis on scientific uncertainties.