22/06/2009 - 14:05

Set CPRS aside: Minerals Council urges

22/06/2009 - 14:05

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The Minerals Council of Australia is calling on the Senate to set aside the carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS) to allow "fundamental flaws" in the scheme to be addressed.

The Minerals Council of Australia is calling on the Senate to set aside the carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS) to allow "fundamental flaws" in the scheme to be addressed.

The call comes as the legislation is due to be debated in the Senate this week.

The Council said the debate should focus on three key points; whether the CPRS is aligned with the development of a global protocol, will it promote the development of low emissions technologies and does it provide a measured transition to a low emissions economy.

"The proposed CPRS fails the test on all three counts," Council chief executive Mitchell Hooke said.

He said the scheme is not linked to the development of a global protocol which meant that it the Copenhagen meeting later this year fails, Australia businesses will start paying billions of dollars in carbon costs.

The CPRS is also not linked to the availability of low emissions technologies, Mr Hooke added.

"In fact, by imposing a $30 billion burden on Australian businesses in the first four years, it will reduce, if not largely eliminate, the ability of Australian firms to invest in these technologies," he said.

"A dollar not spent on low emissions technologies is a dollar lost."

He added that Australian businesses are set to pay the highest carbon costs in the world, with no other scheme "preoccupied with raising revenue ahead of the environmental benefits and economic impacts".

Economic modelling done by Concept Economics for the Council found that 23,150 jobs will be lost in the minerals sector by 2020 under the CPRS and 66,480 jobs lost by 2030.

"The result will be lost Australian jobs, stalled investment and a less competitive economy without delivering any appreciable reductions in greenhouse emissions," Mr Hooke said.

"The design of the proposed CPRS has fostered a mad scramble for preferential treatment, when the focus should be on establishing an efficient market mechanism for establishing a carbon price in a measured transition to a low emissions economy.

"A phased approach to the auctioning of permits - with the number of carbon permits auctioned increasing over time - would deliver such a scheme with good outcomes for the environment while preserving thousands of jobs."

The federal opposition today moved a motion for the Senate to consider other bills before the CPRS, however it was defeated.

Liberal Senator Stephen Parry said urgent bills, which were supposed to take effect on July 1, should be dealt with first.

But Manager of Government Business in the Senate Joe Ludwig said the opposition was filibustering - or wasting time - adding the opposition were "relunctant brides" on dealing with emissions trading.

The government wants a result before parliament breaks for winter at the end of the week.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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