Coalition Climate Change Policy
The Chief Executive of Australia's largest and most representative business organisation, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today that the business community should welcome but seek further information on today's climate change statement by the Federal Opposition, which proposes an alternative to the cap-and-trade system in order to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020.
Peter Anderson said,“It is in the public interest for there to be a strong contest of policy ideas about climate change responses before we impose major or unilateral adjustment costs on our economy, and the Coalition statement contributes to that. ACCI has consistently pointed to the fact that internationally there are a range of proposals which have been put forward to deal with this environmental and economic challenge.”
Business welcomes a debate on these and other ideas proceeding in Australia in the interests of finding the most effective and economically sustainable approach.
Since the Copenhagen conference in December 2009 the global dynamic has shifted and it is clear the likelihood of international agreement with clear and binding targets will not be achievable at least in the medium term.
“Given the uncertainty now existing after Copenhagen over what other nations will do, a domestic policy approach that provides more carrot than stick tends to reflect the temper of the times. More information is needed on the adequacy of the Coalition’s proposed fund, and manner in which it will be funded by the budget," Peter Anderson said.
In the period ahead ACCI will be examining the Coalition proposal and measuring it against alternatives such as a cap and trade mechanism or carbon taxes. Critical in this assessment will be the probable impact on the cost of doing business, our trade competitiveness and employment.