Water industry supports carbon trading scheme

Wednesday, 17 September, 2008

AWA chief executive Tom Mollenkopf said that the water industry was potentially the industry most acutely affected by climate change. "Most climate models now show a general drying trend across the continent," Mr Mollenkopf said. "If these models are correct and the drought conditions we've experienced over the past decade persist or become more frequent, water supplies in Australia will be placed under significant pressure.

"A broad-based emissions trading scheme is clearly the most efficient method of reducing the nation's carbon emissions," he said.

The AWA recognises that Australia will be at the forefront of development of a carbon trading scheme, but believes that leadership is necessary if global action is to be encouraged. "The Australian water industry has been a world leader in efficient water management and is looked to as a model by countries around the world.

"So, too, can the government demonstrate real achievement to the rest of the world by implementing a comprehensive carbon reduction scheme,"said Mollenkopf.

AWA is aware that different industries will have different concerns about the impact of the proposed scheme on their business, and that modifications to the CPRS may ultimately be necessary. Its integrity should not, however, be compromised. "We would urge the government to ensure the scheme remains efficient and broadly based," Mollenkopf said.

AWA's submission to the government also argues for scrutiny of the methodology used to determine emissions from wastewater treatment plants, the industry facilities most affected by the CPRS. "The industry has initiated research to determine the appropriate methodology. Presently, the approach included is likely to significantly overstate emission from wastewater treatment plants," Mr Mollenkopf said.

Among other things, AWA has also argued that the water industry should be treated the same as any other industrial facility and that, therefore, the threshold for inclusion in the scheme by a water industry facility should remian at 25 kt CO2 and not be reduced to 10 kt CO2, as the green paper suggests might possibly be appropriate for landfill sites.


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