The introduction of an emissions trading scheme represents a far-reaching reform of the Australian economy.
If Australia is to achieve the targets that it has set itself, business will need to make significant new investments. For such investments to be made we must have a scheme that both gets the detail right and continues over the longer term.
The Business Council of Australia has consistently stated that this decision is of such fundamental importance that it should receive bipartisan support to provide maximum business certainty.
The BCA will continue to work constructively with all parties to endeavour to achieve this goal and advocates that the various political parties should aim to resolve their differences and seek common ground in the national interest.
In the meantime, uncertainty over the timing of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) should not prevent continuing work to resolve key issues in the current CPRS legislation.
Unresolved issues in the current legislation include treatment of electricity generation, the coal industry and a number of matters involving emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries.
Until such time as there is a consistent global price on emissions, recognition of the position of Australia’s emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries is essential to ensure the preservation of Australian jobs and to avoid ‘carbon leakage’, where emissions-intensive Australian industries simply move to other countries.