Industry pushes for delay on emissions scheme

Heavy industry has warned that the effectiveness of emissions trading may be undermined if the Labor Government’s plan to start carbon emissions trading in 2010 goes ahead.

Former prime minister John Howard had proposed to start trading in 2011, the date suggested by the Howard’s taskgroup, allowing for design of the scheme, allocation and auction of permits and assessment of a full year of emissions data.

Australian Industry Greenhouse Network chief executive John Daley told The Australian Financial Review that Labor’s proposal does not allow enough time to set up an effective wide-ranging scheme.

And Energy Users Association of Australia executive director Roman Domanski said an early start raised the risk of mistakes and uncertainty for business.

Meanwhile, the Climate Institute has released modeling based on CSIRO data finding Australia only need give up 0.1 percentage points in economic growth every year to decarbonise the economy over the next four decades.

It points out that Australia is very vulnerable to climate change and should be arguing for deep and rapid emissions reduction at the upcoming annual United Nations conference on climate change in Bali, getting underway this week.

New Climate Change and Water Minister Penny Wong and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, sworn in this morning, will be attending the Bali negotiations.

But the ambassador for the environment Jan Adams has warned that negotiations are likely to be difficult, with India maintaining a hard line against emission cuts and China’s position not much softer.



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