Business Council statement on Climate Change Authority report

The Business Council welcomes the Climate Change Authority’s report on the actions Australia could take to deliver our commitments in the Paris Agreement as an important contribution to the climate change policy debate.

“We also welcome the fact the Australian Government has now commenced the domestic ratification processes to bring this Agreement into force,” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Australia must begin the careful transformation of our economy if we are to achieve our lower emission future.

“We need a suite of durable, post-2020 climate change policies that are integrated with broader energy policy and are capable of delivering Australia’s emissions reduction targets at lowest possible cost, while maintaining competitiveness and growing Australia’s future prosperity.

“The last thing Australia needs is to start from scratch on climate change policy and the CCA report acknowledges this.

“The CCA recognises that we can achieve our 2030 target by building on the existing regulatory frameworks while developing specific policies in electricity, the built environment, transport and land‑use sectors to drive transformational change.

“Policies to manage the transition away from emissions intensive electricity generation and towards lower or zero emission generation will be particularly important to ensure a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of energy.

“It is also encouraging that the CCA acknowledges the important role credible international permits can play in reducing emissions at lowest possible cost and the impact climate change policies can have on the competitiveness of Australian businesses but more can be done in this space.

“The CCA work also misses some opportunities to incentivise greater emissions reduction within the Australian economy. The Australian Government’s 2017 review of climate change policies will need to consider the benefits of enabling more flexible compliance options for all sectors of the economy to ensure we meet our international commitments at lowest possible cost.

“In conducting its review, the Government will need to consult widely with business and the community to ensure that any suite of climate change policies can deliver: sustainable growth in the Australian economy; reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy to enable Australia to meet future emissions targets; and unlock lower emission sources of comparative advantage.”

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