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Australia Allows Industry a Voice in Emissions Trading Scheme

pmruddAustralia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s administration has named a committee of businessmen to advise on Australia’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) in a move to divert increased concerns that industry compensation is inadequate, reports online newspaper The Australian. Legislation for the carbon reduction scheme will be released on March 10.

The committee was established last week when the Australian government appeared to be losing control of the ETS debate, according to the site. The four-man committee, headed by former Reserve Bank board member Dick Warburton, will evaluate whether or not reasonable rulings were made during the decision-making process in terms of which industries get compensation and how much, reports the newspaper. Industries raising criticism about the government’s process and compensation include steel, coal and cement.

In addition to industry compensation concerns, the Australian government faces a growing grassroots campaign that alleges that the ETS makes individual action to cut emissions meaningless, reports the newspaper. According to the GetUp organization, individual actions weren’t recognized under cap-and-trade emissions trading systems because they did not directly impact the reduction in the emissions cap.

The government also faces a call by the Australian Industry Group to delay the start-up date of the emissions trading scheme until 2012 due to the global economic crisis, reports the newspaper.

Jennifer Westacott, National Leader Water and Environment, KPMG, commented last year on the challenges of Australia’s carbon emissions trading scheme.

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