Business wants practical emissions trading from Garnaut: ACCI

By: Troy Bilsborough


A domestic Emissions Trading Scheme must contain measures to ensure the competitiveness of trade-exposed energy- intensive businesses, according to Australia’s

A domestic Emissions Trading Scheme must contain measures to ensure the competitiveness of trade-exposed energy- intensive businesses, according to Australia’s peak business representative.

Following meetings in Canberra of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ACCI) Economics and Environment Committees, there is emerging support for an ETS that is efficient, maximizes participation across all industry sectors, and includes major world emitters, where possible.

Chief Executive Peter Anderson say ACCI is seeking an ETS model which minimises both compliance costs & the wider economic implications.

"A domestic ETS must contain measures to ensure the competitiveness of trade-exposed energy- intensive businesses," he says.

"Setting emissions targets to 2020 should proceed after thorough cost benefit analysis and considering the full distributional impact across sectors of the economy. In this respect we eagerly await the Treasury analysis expected next month."

He says ideally those arrangements applying post 2012 must include commitments from large emitters including India, China and the USA.

"Australia does have the opportunity of developing a world leading ETS, yet in the absence of widespread international commitments it must be realistically phased, have achievable targets and feature a well-conceived compensation regime.

"Without such measures the adjustment task for Australia will be too severe.

Anderson says ACCI does have concerns about the wider impact of an ETS on the Australian economy which will need "careful management and policy responses - in large part this concern relates to our trade- exposed industries and smaller enterprises which are less able to pass through costs."

"With regard to SMEs we have concerns about direct and embedded energy costs as they affect enterprises in regional and outer suburban areas and we will be examining compensation issues for this sector," he says.

"Australia's fuel mix can only change over a long period and irrespective of the operation of an ETS unrealistic expectations of a shift from fossil fuels to renewables or the adoption of lower emissions technologies need to be tempered."

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook