Climate Change

Time for Senate to Repeal Carbon Tax

Three of Australia’s leading business groups are today calling on the Senate to swiftly repeal the carbon tax. The groups have highlighted the unacceptable cost of delay in repealing what is one of the highest carbon taxes in the world.


Official figures confirm that the carbon tax is imposing a $150 million burden on the Australian economy every week. What they don’t reveal, is that unless the Parliament acts, that bill will increase to $157.5 million per week on 1 July.

The International Climate Change Effort

Australia has been wrongly cast, both in Australia and abroad, as a laggard in efforts to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Australia was one of the few nations that fully met (or exceeded) its obligations under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The reality is that Australia’s economy has become substantially less emissions intensive over the last two decades. Treasury modelling demonstrates that the existing minus 5 per cent target will already impose higher economic costs on Australia than almost any other developed nation. The global nature of the climate change challenge requires an internationally aligned solution. This global response must be centred on three equal and fundamental public policy principles: environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency and social and political acceptability. Measures that are not global are unlikely to be environmentally effective. Measures that are not internationally broadly based are unlikely to be economically efficient. Failure to meet these principles undermines social and political support for action. Action by other nations has been patchy at best. A number of countries, accounting for over 80 per cent of global emissions, set emission abatement targets for 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord and were formalised as part of the Cancun Agreements. Each country chose its own target, base year and accounting methodology. The varying methodologies and bases used by each country make direct comparisons across countries difficult. This work by The Centre for International Economics compares national offers using common base years to give a closer comparison. It uses the official submissions of each country under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Ultimately, the measure of effort that a target represents is described by size of the reductions off 2020 “business as usual”. Australia’s targets are ambitious.

Senate Committee Inquiry into the adequacy of management of the Great Barrier Reef

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry into the adequacy of management of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). As you are aware, the MCA represents over 85% of minerals production in Australia. The MCA’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally responsible and attuned to community needs and expectations. MCA members commit to continuous improvement in their performance, beyond regulatory requirements, as signatories to Enduring Value – The Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development. Key elements in this Framework are the commitments to ‘contribute to conservation of biodiversity’ and the ‘continuous improvement in their environmental performance’. The minerals industry recognises the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ (OUV) of the GBR and is committed to the protection of those values though an appropriate risk based management regime. The industry also recognises the need to balance environmental protection, social and cultural values and responsible economic development in areas within and adjacent the GBR Marine Park area.
It has long been recognised that very large world heritage areas such as the GBR need to remain available for multiple uses, including economic development (where it is not inconsistent with the outstanding universal value of the GBR). This is a critical concept given the significant mining, petroleum, agriculture, fishing and tourism industries located adjacent to the GBR and their importance to both the Queensland and national economies.

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