Delay carbon scheme, Ai Group

The proposed 2010 start date for the Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is both unnecessary and unrealistic, Australian Industry (Ai) Group CEO Heather Ridout said after a national executive meeting in Canberra.

The proposed 2010 start date for the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is both unnecessary and unrealistic, Australian Industry (Ai) Group CEO Heather Ridout said after a national executive meeting in Canberra.

“The 2010 timetable has now become unrealistic because of the impacts of the global financial crisis on business confidence, cash flows and the availability of credit,” Ridout said.

According to Ridout, the carbon reductions that Australian industry is currently aiming for are adequate in the current market.

“Australia is already on track to meet its Kyoto commitments over the period to 2012,” she said.

“The sharp downturn in the economy and the associated reduction in emissions, for example from reduced metals production and slower growth in energy demand across the economy, will reduce our abatement task in the short-term.”

Despite wanting to delay its start date, Ridout said Ai Group views the CPRS as the best way for Australian to reduce emissions.

“Ai Group reaffirms its view that a market-based approach such as emissions trading should be adopted as the central policy to achieve Australia’s reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.

Ridout believes passing relevant legislation should be done no later than 2009.

“Business supports the passage in 2009 of the relevant legislation,” she said.

“This would remove a major source of business uncertainty which is currently acting as an obstacle to long-term business planning.”

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