Committee backs carbon price changes
A federal parliamentary committee has backed the passing of laws linking Australia’s carbon market with Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) from 2015.
The House of Representatives economics committee report, tabled in parliament today, included a dissenting report by three Liberal MPs who argued one public hearing day was not enough time to scrutinise the bills.
The coalition members also said removing the floor price for carbon emissions would leave the Australian economy ‘‘in the hands of European bureaucrats who will make policy decisions impacting on the EU price which will directly impact on the linked Australian price’’.
However, committee chairwoman and Labor MP Julie Owens said the removal of the floor price and limiting the number of Kyoto units that can be surrendered by liable entities to 12.5 per cent a year would enable the link with the European ETS, and other markets in the future, to occur smoothly.
‘‘The committee reviewed these amendments and concluded that they were necessary to ensure the efficient operation of Australia’s carbon market and the environmental integrity of Australia’s scheme,’’ she said in a statement.
The amendments will also provide flexibility around auctions of Australian carbon units, and ensure universal coverage of the natural gas sector.
‘‘The bills represent an exciting step in the development of Australia’s carbon trading scheme,’’ Ms Owens said. ‘‘Linked carbon markets can create a global market place that fosters least-cost abatement and contributes to an international solution to climate change.’’
The legislation is expected to pass parliament with the support of the independents and Greens.