ALP Confirms ETS Plan
The Australian Labor Party has reconfirmed in a leaked document that it intends to take an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to the 2016 election - in the lead up to the ALP National Conference in Melbourne.
The ETS will be introduced gradually to set a cap on electricity generators, as well as other large emitters to curtail their emissions over a number of years. The policy as it stands would impose "no upfront costs” on emitters in the 2016-19 period. Following that, emitters would be required to purchase credits to offset their emissions.
Unlike the previous ETS, this new trading scheme would be aligned with policies being pursued in South Korea and China - in order to allow connection between the schemes. With Paris climate talks taking place in December, the impetus for governments to reaffirm their commitment to tackling climate change has spiked in popularity. The ALP are set to not only announce their “Electricity Transformation Plan”, but also their post 2020 emissions target. This will be followed next month by the Liberal Party who will announce the commitments that they will take to the climate talks in December.
Talk of another Carbon Tax has been rife - though thoroughly refuted by the ALP – with concerns that any new ETS could impact on electricity and gas prices. The political challenge for both parties will be differentiating any new climate policy from the much maligned Carbon Tax whilst balancing the concerns of voters regarding climate change.