Coalition climate change policy

The Coalition’s climate change policy strikes at the real intent of pricing carbon – providing an incentive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without negatively impacting on jobs, investment, exports and growth.

The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the shift to a policy designed to use incentives as a driver to reduce emissions rather than an approach that is pre-occupied with penalising business to raise revenue.

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme places a $120 billion impost on the Australian economy – returning about $75 billion to households and motorists in partial compensation for price rises in electricity and consumer goods – with not a single cent to be invested in the research and development of low emissions technology.

The Coalition’s proposal establishes an incentive for companies to invest billions of dollars in breakthrough technologies critical to reducing emissions. Without the commercial development and deployment of low emissions technology – such as clean coal – emissions reductions targets are merely a wing and a prayer.

The failure of the Copenhagen climate change talks underscored the need to promote and adopt economically conservative climate change policies aligned with the rate of development of policies and actions across the rest of the world.

There is no point trying to lead the world with aggressive climate change schemes if the major economies are not interested in following – or worse still, regard Australia’s initiatives as an example of what not to do.

The Copenhagen fiasco amply demonstrated that the major economies and Australia’s export competitors have no appetite for radical CPRS-style economic re-engineering in response to climate change.

The proposed CPRS remains the most costly emissions trading scheme in the world – while failing to deliver material reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coalition must also heed this message from Copenhagen. There are no prizes for Australia in imposing punitive taxes on the economy in the absence of a global protocol, similar carbon pricing measures and the development of low emissions technology.

If Australia can demonstrate that it is possible to make the transition to a lower emissions economy without forsaking jobs, international competitiveness and living standards, other nations will be more likely to follow our example.

The MCA remains committed to the development of a climate change policy that includes a carbon-price incentive, promotes low emissions technologies, drives a global protocol that includes all major emitters and includes a complete mix of low-emissions energy sources.

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