CPRS may affect trade, Williams

The Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme must address the issue of international trade competitiveness for Australian industries, NSW Minerals Council chief executive Dr Nikki Williams said.

The Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme must address the issue of international trade competitiveness for Australian industries, NSW Minerals Council chief executive Dr Nikki Williams said.

According to Williams, the risk of carbon leakage is very real under the scheme’s draft legislation which was released in March.

“The failure to properly consider Australia’s trade competitiveness under an emissions trading scheme will result in the export of Australian jobs to countries without similar schemes, without delivering any net benefit in terms of global emissions in reductions,” she said.

Williams told industry professionals at the Mining Matters discussion forum, held in Sydney recently, that climate change was an issue that must be addressed not only through a well thought out scheme but also through a strong commitment to R&D.

“The accelerated development of carbon capture and storage technology is a critical plank of global efforts to reduce emissions while maintaining energy security, amidst rapidly growing demand,” Williams said.

“There are lead time considerations for the commercial availability of carbon capture and storage technologies for coal-fired power generators, as there are for most of the technologies which will contribute to out future energy mix.

“As the old saying goes, time is money. In this case, investment saves us time, it will make the technology commercially ready more quickly.”

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