16/07/2008 - 22:00

Carbon trading still inconvenient

16/07/2008 - 22:00

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Carbon trading is still inconvenient and opponents, including many export industries, want no inconvenience, according to West Perth-based lobby WA Sustainable Energy Association.

Carbon trading still inconvenient

Carbon trading is still inconvenient and opponents, including many export industries, want no inconvenience, according to West Perth-based lobby WA Sustainable Energy Association.

The peak body for the sustainability energy sector in WA said industry had to accept the fact that Australia was gearing up for a carbon restrained future, and that included exporters.

"A combination of a trading system combined with direct incentives for industry to reduce emissions by supporting both energy efficiency measures and providing lower emissions energy sources for businesses will actually diversify the economy, creating a more robust environment for business with energy efficiency delivering reduced inflationary pressures that would otherwise occur through spiralling fossil fuel prices," chief executive Ray Wills said.

"Claims that fixing climate change would be devastating for Australia's economy simply do not add up."

Sustainability expert Chris Lund said while trade-exposed industries would experience difficulties exporting to countries not working under an ETS in the short term, they would benefit in the long-term.

"If the science is correct and we think that it is then the rest of the world will have to have a global response [to climate change]," he said.

"Those companies in an emissions trading system will be at an advantage when the rest of the world starts to trade and go into this process."

Dr Lund is head sustainability consultant for international consultancy firm GHD and assists companies in developing climate change strategies for their operations.

He said the recommendation by Professor Ross Garnaut to implement carbon trading by 2010 would, in financial terms, have little impact on the economy.

Dr Lund said the inclusion of as many sectors as possible in an ETS would create a major challenge for the federal government, but would be paramount to the regime's success.

But exporters remain sceptical, particularly those trading with countries without an ETS, sparking fears that some companies might be forced to move overseas to remain competitive.

 

 

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