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Way forward needed on climate change policy

02-03-2010
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The Australian Industry Group's National Executive, the organisation's principal policy-making body, has expressed concern at the failure to reach consensus on climate change policy both nationally and internationally.

“There is great uncertainty around how to progress this issue and no clear way forward, said Ai Group chief executive Heather Ridout.

"While the chances of adopting an emissions trading scheme is remote in the near term both major parties have agreed on emissions reduction targets of at least 5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020, she said.

“How this will be achieved will remain on the national agenda.  In the longer term, we continue to see a market-based approach as having the most potential to deliver least cost abatement.”

At a recent meeting the AiG national executive resolved to convene an Industry Leaders' Group to identify the best way forward on climate change policy.

The following five key principles were agreed to:
• The competitiveness of Australia's trade-exposed industries cannot be eroded.
• Australia should be able to meet its international emissions reduction commitments at least cost.
• The continuity of energy supply should be assured as we transition to lower-emission energy sources.
• A central feature of policy should be on supporting research and development of new and refinement of existing approaches to emissions reduction and
• Compliance costs and regulatory burdens should be kept to a minimum.

"The Industry Leaders' Group will consider current and alternative proposals in light of the above principles.  It will include representatives from across the country and the economy," Mrs Ridout said.

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