The Federal Government has been forced to delay the emissions trading scheme by up to six months, as the economic crisis bites down.
Kevin Rudd said the scheme would start at the end of 2010 and not the proposed 1 July 2010.
The news comes as a welcome relief to businesses who are already struggling and don’t want the impost of a new tax at such a time.
Emissions Trading Scheme opponent Mitchell Hooke said the scheme is flawed and will hurt businesses even more than the global financial crisis.
“If Australia imposes the world’s highest carbon costs, the result is easy to predict — fewer jobs and projects in regional and remote Australia, but little if any environmental dividend,” Hooke said.
CRC Mining’s CEO Professor Michael Hood told MINING DAILY that Australia could reduce its energy consumption and meet its emission targets with the help of new, innovative technology.
“While it is simply too early to tell whether or not Australia is likely to meet its targets, it is feasible to say that we could meet them if we needed to.
“This is the right time to invest in innovation and technology.
“People should invest in innovation during the recession because when the economy returns to its robust self, the companies that have invested are better placed than all of their competitors.”
Hood, a key note speaker at yesterday’s Innovation in Resources conference, told attendees that cost effective, smarter R&D could help Australia meet its 2020 emission targets.
Hood said if you looked at the true cost of energy, it is often more expensive than implementing new R&D.
“Energy has been too cheap for too long. We need to look at the true value of energy including its externality costs.
“An externality is a bad thing that happens when you do something good. Fugitive emissions are one example. Because we haven’t paid for fugitive emissions, energy is sourced cheaply. However, if you have to pay for these externalities then the true cost of energy becomes far greater and R&D becomes a favourable option.”