by Peter Castellas, Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Market Institute.
Its been a tumultuous ride but amazingly this is the first election cycle in many years that we enter with continuity of the same climate policy suite…
Business craves stability and certainty in policy making and so early in this Parliament there is a window for the Coalition to define enduring policy settings to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions; meet our international obligations; and support the lower emissions transition already underway.
The key for the Coalition will be to get the terms of reference for the 2017 climate policy review right. The review will need to consider the future of the ERF, how baselines under the safeguard mechanism evolve to align with the emissions trajectory of our 2030 target, energy sector transformation, and how we link and trade with international carbon markets so Australia is positioned to optimise our international competitiveness in the low carbon economy.
Here at the Carbon Market Institute we determined early in 2013 that we would work with whoever the government of the day is to ensure our members views are communicated effectively ‘inside the tent’ in Canberra. This will help to inform how polices can best be implemented to achieve good climate outcomes and an effective market based approach to emissions reduction. This has worked pretty effectively and the relationships are strong. Now we can refine our message and the options for consideration to help in implementing effective policy.
It struck me at a policy working group we held this week how significant the goodwill and market insight for the government to draw on is, as we begin the process to input into the 2017 review. We had nearly 60 companies attending represented by individuals with collectively hundreds of years of climate change and business knowledge. Our membership base is a valuable asset for the government to access.
As other industry bodies thankfully begin to re-engage constructively in progressing the climate policy agenda we will need to collaborate to ensure a more united and consistent business voice is heard, and that it will support policy makers and help define the path to bipartisanship.
The incoming Environment & Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said at the recent Clean Energy Council Summit dinner that political leadership is about taking complex issues and explaining them. In engaging the full Cabinet, the challenges of climate and energy might need to be framed more around an economic narrative, and perhaps “jobs and growth”. Business has an important role to play in helping the new Minister and his Federal colleagues in this important, timely task.
A mature, constructive period has arrived. Lets get to work.