Discussing the direct impact of emissions reduction on business practice

Quest Events Pty Ltd

Monday, 07 September, 2015

Discussing the direct impact of emissions reduction on business practice

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has announced the much-anticipated carbon pollution safeguard mechanism, with a potential fine of $1.8 million for big businesses that exceed their emissions baselines.

The mechanisms will cover over 330 facilities from 140 businesses whose emissions exceed over 100,000 tonnes per year. Together, this constitutes nearly half of Australia’s total annual emissions.

A notable inclusion in the announcement was that of a review by the government on allowing access to high-quality international carbon abatement permits. Effectively, this means that companies exceeding their baselines could offset their excess with purchase of carbon credits from international abatement schemes.

Not surprisingly, the announcement has drawn debate from all sides of the argument. While some deem the mechanism insufficient and the baselines too generous for meaningful abatement, others argue that high-emissions sectors like mining and minerals — which are critical to economic growth — would struggle to remain within this baseline without high cost.

Others consider the proposed access to international abatement permits a disincentive for meaningful emissions reduction in Australia. And analysts believe that while Australia may meet its 5% emissions reduction target from 2005 levels by 2020, it could be challenging under the current Direct Action safeguard mechanisms to meet the government’s proposed target of a 26–28% fall in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

The effectiveness of abatement mechanisms and the consequent impact on businesses will be among the key themes for discussion at The Carbon Abatement Forum, being held in Sydney from 27–29 October. The three-day forum will bring together business and industry with leading government agencies to examine climate policy and regulation, business strategy, risk and planning for emissions reduction and abatement. Against this backdrop, the forum will look at the challenges for the development of a framework for emissions reduction that finds a meaningful common ground for science-based requirements for emissions reduction and the economic objective of sustained growth, employment and prosperity.

Join a stellar speaker faculty and your peers from across industry sectors to hear and examine the key implications of climate change on business planning and strategy. Attendees will have an opportunity to assess the direct impact of the national emissions reduction targets on business practice, risk and trade exposure of high-carbon industries; and to gain insights on business sustainability, energy efficiency, productivity and profitability.

Full details on the conference agenda are available here.

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