Statement on post-2020 Emissions Reduction Target

“There should be no doubt that achieving the post-2020 emissions reduction target announced by the Prime Minister today will be a challenge for all Australians, including business,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

"The community must realise that much of the low hanging fruit has been picked in the emissions reduction challenge and taking the next steps beyond 2020 will require significant changes in industry activity and investment, and community behaviour, which must be managed carefully.

"Australia must be able to achieve its target for the community to accept and willingly participate in the complex transformation over time. The target announced today by the Prime Minister starts Australia on a long-term transformational path.

“Achieving this transformation will require policies which can be durable and which avoid economic shocks and substantial costs. Hasty policy or ruling policy options out now will just increase risks that there will be costly policy reversals over coming years, undermining business and community confidence in the steps required to reduce emissions substantially over time.

“Australia cannot afford a repeat of the policy flux of the past fifteen years.

“Moving to a lower emissions economy will require continued investment and much of that investment will have long pay-back periods. Policies will need to provide a predictable and stable investment environment and be developed following comprehensive consultation with those affected and those that will provide the solution.

"Should the report be right that official modelling estimates today's target will result in a $660 million annual cost to the economy from 2030 there is an even greater importance that the government develops a package of policies to support growth.

"This includes making the tax system more competitive and efficient, supporting the development of skills for the future, implementing improvements to workplace relations system recommended by the Productivity Commission, and reducing business regulation.

“The BCA looks forward to engaging with the government on the development of workable policies to achieve Australia’s post-2020 target,” Ms Westacott said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 • Mobile 0403 241 128