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National emissions trading lauded - Environment Business Australia

ENIVRONMENT Business Australia applauds the Federal Government’s recommendation for a national emissions trading system.

The basic issue is how a strong and competitive national economy can be maintained and how industries in transition can be best assisted.

While carbon taxes or levies and carbon trading are seen as negatives by some, the pledging of funds can be used to fast-track innovation and the deployment of new technologies and infrastructure through accelerated depreciation that replaces outdated infrastructure. This could provide support for industries in transition.

Research and development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would benefit the environment and sustainability industry as well as the energy intensive industry sectors.

Climate change is not the bogeyman of the future and this is understood by the insurance sector and by institutional investors.

Organsiations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and CSIRO are alerting us to a range of possible scenarios – what for example will happen to farming and rural Australia if there is a 30 per cent reduction in rainfall or if there is no speeding up of the moderate to severe drought cycle.

While debate over the economics of climate change is healthy, it is misleading to run an economic argument that does not take into account financial impacts of the negative externalities that are summarily dumped on our economy, environment, health, quality of life, agriculture, eco-system services and biodiversity and paid for (or not) by consolidated revenue.

Sustainability is the new driver of innovation and competitive advantage – and the markets are already waiting for us.

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