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BCA calls for lower renewables target to reflect demand


Source: Financial Review, 31 July 2013


Support for clean energy technology should be reduced and all state and federal emissions-reduction schemes reviewed by the Productivity Commission as part of a “reset” of climate change and energy policies that would also keep emissions reduction costs to no more than the international price.

These proposals are part of the Business Council of Australia’s action plan, which recommends that, in the next one to three years, energy and climate change policies “be better integrated” to maintain Australia’s competitive advantage in the resource sector. This includes lowering the renewable energy target (RET) for 2020 to reflect reduced energy demand.

The BCA argues cost pressures on electricity and gas markets have “begun to erode” Australia’s low-cost energy base and it risks losing global market share in commodities such as coal.

“For too long, energy and climate change mitigation policy have tended to be developed in isolation of one another, rather than as part of an overarching policy framework,” it says.

Australia should act in “tandem” with other countries and pay “no more than the international price to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions’’.

According to the World Bank, more than 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have implemented or are considering mechanisms that put a price on carbon, covering 20 per cent of all global emissions. “Global warming is a global problem and has to be dealt with globally. Australia is only a small part of the global problem,” BCA president Tony Shepherd said.