Govt white paper raises alarm

The Minerals Council of Australia has said it hopes the Federal Government's White Paper released today will include a phased and measured transition to emissions trading.

The Minerals Council of Australia has said it hopes the Federal Government’s White Paper released today will include a phased and measured transition to emissions trading.

The Council said the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, outlined in the Government’s Green paper, is out of step with the schemes being developed around the world.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will announce details of the Government’s carbon reduction scheme to start in the middle of 2010.

The scheme is aimed at restructuring the economy so that greenhouse gases are cut by 60% by 2050.

The centrepiece of the Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme is the commencement of full auctioning of permits from the outset.

All entities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 annually will have to buy permits for every tonne of CO2 emitted.

The only exception will be entities whose activities or industrial processes are classified as emission intensive and trade exposed (EITE).

The Government proposes that 20% of all permits will be allocated to firms in the non-farm sector conducting EITE activities.

“The MCA has consistently argued that if Australia is to have an environmentally effective and economically efficient emissions trading scheme, it should be aligned with progress in the development of a global protocol, low emissions technologies and emissions trading schemes in other countries,” the Council said in a statement.

“A phased approach to auctioning would bring Australia into direct alignment with emissions trading scheme in the European Union, the Western Climate Initiative of seven US states and four Canadian Provinces, The US Congress’ consideration of various cap and trade proposals and New Zealand.”

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