Monday, March 27, 2006

Federal Government against carbon credits (for now)

The Commonwealth Government's is against trading in carbon credits, for the time being, according to a 2004 policy document called "Securing Australia’s Energy Future".

"Australia will not impose significant new economy-wide costs, such as emissions trading, in its greenhouse response at this stage," says the report. But it doesn't rule trading schemes out in future: " Such action is premature, in the absence of effective longer-term global action on climate change..."

Australia is holding out for a better deal, especially from fast-growing economies: "Expected economic growth in less developed countries, such as China and India, will result in emissions from these nations increasing substantially over the next 20 to 30 years. Total emissions from less developed countries, which have no quantitative targets under the Kyoto Protocol, are expected to soon overtake those from industrialised countries. It is clear that, to be effective, any global response must encompass the world’s major emitters."

If the international community plays ball, Australia will get a trading system: "Should such an effective global response be in prospect, the government will consider least-cost approaches to constraining emissions. This consideration would encompass the possible introduction of market-based measures (such as an emissions trading scheme) in the longer term, noting the potential for these to lead a better resource allocation and provide industry and individuals with the greatest flexibility in determining how best to respond."

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