The BCA welcomes today’s release of Professor Ross Garnaut’s latest report, Targets and Trajectories, for acknowledging that Australia cannot reduce global carbon emissions on its own.
BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said the report underlines that it is vital to tailor Australia’s climate change response to global efforts.
“Professor Garnaut has recommended that Australia should respond differently in the absence of a global agreement than it should if an agreement is reached,” she said.
“Professor Garnaut has acknowledged that there will need to be differentiated targets in any global solution.
“Professor Garnaut has accepted it is inappropriate to produce the extremely rapid falls in emissions called for by some groups.
“We must all play our part to reduce emissions, and we all must share the costs.
Ms Lahey said the report validated the BCA’s concern that Australia’s response must address the plight of emissions-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) industries.
“Professor Garnaut has pointed out that in the absence of a global agreement, emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries need special arrangements in the design of Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme,” Ms Lahey said.
“The BCA’s recent Modelling Success report made this clear. A scheme that does not deal adequately with Australia’s emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries risks simply moving them overseas without reducing world emissions.
“Professor Garnaut’s report today provides another important piece of evidence for the government to consider. The government needs to examine all the new information that is emerging in relation to the impact of emissions trading before finalising its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme design.
“We will continue to talk to the federal government and broader community about the need to get the detail right in Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
“This means ensuring Australia’s important emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries remain viable until their competitors overseas face a price on carbon.
“The BCA wants to reiterate that we wholeheartedly support the establishment of a comprehensive emissions trading scheme. It is the best means of responding to climate change at the lowest possible cost to all Australians.
“The approach taken by Professor Garnaut identifying a range of costs and risks and the difficulties in quantifying aspects of these again confirms the complex policy environment in which we are operating.
“The BCA will be considering the economic modelling done for this report in more detail, along with the comprehensive modelling being done by Treasury,” she said.