Archive for October 2011

Carbon price gouging   Leave a comment

With the Clean Energy Future package passing the Lower House of Federal parliament, the carbon tax looks set to be implemented from mid-2012 (assuming it passes the Senate, which is expected to take place sometime between now and November 21).

Pricing carbon pollution will change relative prices, making goods that generate more pollution more expensive and those that generate less pollution relatively cheaper. An initial price will be fixed at $23/t CO2-e, rising by 2.5% a year in real terms from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015, before transitioning to an emissions trading scheme from  July 2015 onwards, when the price will be set by the market.

If businesses can lower their pollution, the price they pay will be less. A market-based carbon price creates a powerful incentive for businesses across all industries to find the cheapest and most effective way of reducing carbon pollution by investing in clean technology or finding more efficient ways of operating, rather than relying on more costly approaches such as government regulation. This will help nudge Australia in the direction of a low-carbon economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 23, 2011 by equilibrium in Climate Change & Sustainability

Clean Energy Future legislation passes   Leave a comment

The Gillard government has secured the passage of its Clean Energy Future package through the Lower House of Federal parliament this morning with the support of key crossbench MPs. Labor won the vote on the eighteen carbon tax bills, 74 to 72.

The Lower House also passed the government’s $300 million steel transformation plan bill (that vote was won 75 to 71 with Queensland independent Bob Katter joining fellow independents Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie, and Greens MP Adam Bandt, in backing Labor).

This has signaled celebrations by the Labour government, but now the prospect of Tony Abbot’s Liberals  repealing the tax should they win the next Federal election extends the uncertainty felt by businesses in their planning and investment decisions.

With the legislation passing the Lower House it will now go to the Senate for a vote by November 21.

The fixed carbon tax is scheduled to begin in mid-2012 before transforming to an emissions trading scheme in mid-2015.

Posted October 12, 2011 by equilibrium in Climate Change & Sustainability

PACIA Carbon Solutions Forum: new energy and carbon laws, grants and programs   Leave a comment

Another successful and well attended Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association Carbon Solution Forum on Thursday 6th October, held at EPA Victoria. With the Clean Energy Future package in parliament, the topic of the day was “new energy and carbon laws, grants and programs” with guest presentations by:

Clean Energy Future Trevor Power (DCCEE)

Trevor Power, Assistant Secretary, Analysis and Projection, Climate Strategies and Markets Division, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, who provided a nuts and bolts summary of the CEF package. Read the rest of this entry »

Why businesses should consider their environmental impacts   Leave a comment

Business processes that transform energy and matter (inputs) into products (outputs) causes waste and pollution that can damage ecosystems. A continuing thirst for profits, shareholder returns and economic growth, an increasing global population, consumerism and aspirations for the Western lifestyle by people in developing nations, will add growing pressure to the stocks of fresh water, fossil fuels, fisheries, timber and minerals in many regions. Over time, these trends could undermine economic output by disrupting the flow of energy, raw materials and ecosystem services that sustain the economy and provide us with essential, and aspirational, goods and services.

Most current economic and business models fail to recognise the value of ecosystem services, resulting in environmental harm from extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution and the generation of wastes and pollution. These are excluded from the transaction between a buyer and seller, and they are largely external to the business causing the damage and so are borne by third parties, that is, they are externalities.  Continuing environmental degradation from pollution and natural resource depletion alters the environment and its functions, which could ultimately impact on the welfare of society; locally, nationally and globally. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 4, 2011 by equilibrium in Climate Change & Sustainability

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