Thursday, January 22, 2009

'No excuse' for delay on emissions

Mathew Murphy

The Age, January 23, 2009

THE Federal Government's top climate change bureaucrat has called on business to accept its emissions trading blueprint or risk loading the community with additional costs for the scheme.

In a speech to the CEO Institute in Sydney, Martin Parkinson, secretary of the Department of Climate Change, said it was "only natural" that business would use the current economic crisis to try to gain "even more favourable treatment".

However, he said a delay to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme due to troubling economic conditions was unnecessary.

"If there is one lesson from the global financial crisis, it is that poorly considered incentives and weak market structures and market rules will result in distortionary behaviour," Mr Parkinson said.

"Politically driven changes to the CPRS design that erode incentives and fail the test of robust and efficient markets will impose costs that, eventually, we will all have to pay.

"I don't hear the proponents of this position arguing it was a mistake to engage in trade liberalisation and other reforms during the 1991 recession."

The Government's white paper on emissions trading last month set a reduction target of 5 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020 and a 15 per cent reduction if a global agreement is reached in Copenhagen this year. Draft legislation will be released by the end of next month for public comment.

No comments: