When most of us think about the contributions of science, technology and business, we would say that the benefits have greatly outweighed the negatives. We have been able to produce big houses and big buildings, big factories and big farms, big motor vehicles and big power plants, and all manner of incredible consumer products (iPhones, iPads, plasmas) and services (eBay, international travel) that can be purchased with increasing incomes. These have all been conceived to serve a purpose: to help make our lives easier, more convenient, more enjoyable and more productive.
However, a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute highlights that during most of the 20th Century, resource prices (whether food, water, energy or steel) declined despite strong growth in the world’s population and even stronger growth in GDP. This price fall was due to the discovery of new low-cost sources of supply and technological innovations that improved productivity. The report goes on to state, however, that in the past ten years, the demand from emerging markets, particularly in Asia, has erased all the price declines of the previous hundred. Read the rest of this entry »
The ACCC has launched its “Carbon Price Claims – guide for business”. It can be found here
In 2010, governments from around the world agreed that at the very heart of the response to climate change lies the need to reduce GHG emissions so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2oC.
Two weeks ago, the International Energy Agency launched its annual World Outlook. The IEA stated that the most important contribution to reaching energy security and climate goals will come from the energy that we do not consume. It found that unless there was a rapid change in plans to build fossil fuel power plants and energy-intensive factories and other infrastructure over the next 5 years, it will be virtually impossible to avoid at least 2o degrees of warming. Read the rest of this entry »
Business appreciates certainty. They now have it with the recent passing of the Clean Energy Future package (unless, of course, Tony Abbott comes rampaging in during the next election and sees through his promise of dismantling it).
Like any tax, the carbon tax will be one the top 500 biggest carbon polluters directly affected will want to avoid. They will be allocating capital in the most cost effective way to minimise their exposure to the tax and costs of compliance by investing in new technologies, energy efficiency, fuel switching, staff engagement and internal awareness raising to help reduce costs.
The level of preparation, and effectively adjusting to this change, will become a measure of management competence. Now that it is done, businesses will need to get used to factoring in a carbon price in the same way they have to deal with other cost issues such as labour, rent, interest payments, raw materials and the demand for their goods and services. Read the rest of this entry »
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) today launched the findings of the 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project: Australia & New Zealand report at Carbon Expo Australasia, being held in Melbourne. This snapshot of industry’s response to climate change comes ahead of the historic vote in the Senate tomorrow to pass Labor’s Clean Energy Future package.
The annual survey asks companies to measure and disclose what climate change means for their business and ranks them on the quality of information they release. Half of ASX 200 companies responded to this year’s survey, up 3% from last year.
The annual survey of Australia’s and New Zealand’s biggest companies finds 54% of ASX 100 companies that responded to the review already have their own emissions reduction targets in place, falling to 45 per cent across the ASX 200. Read the rest of this entry »
A key adviser on the government’s $10 billion clean energy fund has acknowledged there will be ”dodgy people” trying to win green business money from taxpayers, with the US launching a review of its own similar program. David Paradice, a fund manager appointed to help set up the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – part of the government’s carbon tax scheme – says that there would inevitably be shonky operators lured by the prospect of government money.
His comments came after a similar program in the US suffered its second high-profile bankruptcy when Beacon Power Corp joined the major solar firm Solyndra in announcing it had gone bust after receiving government loan guarantees. This had forced the White House to announce last week it would review its scheme. Read the rest of this entry »