In its submission to the 2007–08 federal Budget, the BCA set a goal for Australia to lift its living standards into the top-five band of the world’s developed economies by 2012 and in the process, provide additional opportunities and the means to pass on prosperity to future generations.
Such an economic growth goal is not at odds with effective environmental management, but does require reforms aimed at ‘internalising’ environmental costs and risks, most notably with regard to greenhouse gas emissions and the risks associated with climate change. The introduction of such reforms in the absence of a global response, however, must be in a manner that does not disadvantage Australia’s competiveness and ensures a smooth long term transition to a low-emissions economy in line with global action.
With the election of the current federal government there is a renewed focus on national and international responses to climate change and in particular the design of a national emissions trading scheme.
The federal government is taking a leadership role in establishing clear national policy, governance and legal frameworks which facilitate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and prepare Australians to adapt to the possible impacts of climate change.
The federal government has identified both the setting of emissions reduction targets and the implementation of a national emissions trading scheme by 2010 as key components of its climate change policy response.