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Sound principles for a price on pollution

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee’s guiding principles, released today, have the potential to deliver an environmentally effective price on pollution, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

“With these principles as a guide, an environmentally effective price on pollution could come out of this process,” said ACF climate change program manager Tony Mohr.

“To be effective the price needs to include incentives for businesses to cut their pollution and it needs to be sufficiently flexible that it can be adjusted in response to international progress and developments in climate science.

“It would be good for the committee to set a timeline for implementation and to be specific about what ‘environmental effectiveness’ actually means.

“It should mean that under any proposed scheme Australia’s emissions will be lower in 2013 than they are in 2010.”

ACF believes the Federal Government needs to:

  • Legislate a price on pollution in 2011 that is environmentally effective and makes companies pay for the pollution they produce
  • Ensure Australia’s emissions are lower in 2013 than 2010 and continue to go down
  • Ensure the mechanism can be scaled up to achieve deep cuts in emissions
  • Provide assistance for the households that can least afford any increased costs
  • Boost the clean energy economy by enacting energy efficiency legislation and increasing support for renewables
  • Support the retention of carbon in the landscape through carbon farming and protection of natural landscapes.