Bipartisanship Essential for Emissions Trading Certainty

Statement from BCA President Greig Gailey

 

Australia’s intention to address climate change through the implementation of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) constitutes one of the most fundamental and far-reaching economic reforms ever undertaken in this country.

The importance of getting the details of the scheme right cannot be overstated. Only business can make the many investments needed to transition Australia to a low-carbon economy. To do this business needs certainty.

The BCA has consistently argued that this certainty is best delivered by legislation and regulations which have bipartisan support.

The BCA believes that three critical areas of the current legislation and regulations require further review to ensure the details are right. These must ensure:

  • Smooth transition of the electricity sector to low-emissions technologies. This means the CPRS should include arrangements which address the risk of early closure and enable industry investment in the new electricity infrastructure required.
  • The CRPS provides arrangements for coal which ensure the competitiveness of this industry is sustained and jobs are not lost in the absence of a global carbon price.
  • Arrangements for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries such as the activity definitions, the impact of the proposed permit decay rate, and the five-yearly reviews maintain the competiveness.

Constructive negotiations between the government and Opposition are vital if we are to get the detail right in the final legislation that will be voted on next month, and in regulations that will guide emissions trading activity.

The right legislation and regulations implemented with bipartisan support will give the certainty required by business to make the investments needed for Australia to successfully transition to a low-carbon economy and provide a successful model for others to emulate.