Keep the Finger Off the Greenhouse Trigger: BCA

The Business Council of Australia today called on the federal government to develop a framework for a mature and productive debate about the establishment of a greenhouse trigger and other greenhouse measures.

The BCA’s Executive Director, Mr David Buckingham, said the differing views expressed earlier this week by federal Cabinet ministers graphically illustrated the need for such a debate.

“It is transparent the trigger has some very real issues associated with it, including the potential adverse impact on investment, jobs and regional development,” Mr Buckingham said.

“Australia cannot afford an arbitrary approach to this issue – we need a comprehensive framework which is based on a broad community understanding before we pull the greenhouse trigger.”

Mr Buckingham said the framework should have as its objective two key issues:

1. An open, mature and productive debate about the issues, options and implications of establishing a greenhouse trigger and other related measures.

2. Leading from this, move to the establishment of a strategic framework for greenhouse policy that takes account of best interests of the entire community.

“Greenhouse must be managed on a comprehensive basis, in cooperation with the states and industry, to ensure Australia’s national interests are not seriously damaged,” he said.

“All Australians need to understand the cost of meeting our commitments under the Kyoto Protocol may be a lower economic standard of living.

“Therefore, Australia’s response to the greenhouse issue has to be evaluated in a strategic framework that articulates not just a commitment to environmental best practice but which links the economic well-being of citizens with the success of Australian industry.”