May 07, 2014 - 1:22pm
The Business Council of Australia’s loss of status with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development is unsurprising as the BCA has displayed a remarkable lack of policy consistency over recent years.
Its position appears to be driven more by short-termism than a thorough assessment of the economic risks to Australia of further global warming. This lack of concern is particularly disturbing as Australia is more exposed to climate change than any other developed country. We are already experiencing the economic and human impacts of the less than one degree warming to date and these costs will rise. Global warming above two degrees exceeds the adaptive capacity of many Australian industries.
These facts are not recognised in the BCA’s 2014 energy and climate change policy. Nor is the risk to Australia of continued reliance on high-carbon industries and exports. It is reckless for the BCA to support repealing the existing price and limit on carbon and winding back the Renewable Energy Target, both of which are reducing Australia’s emissions and developing low-carbon industries in the absence of proven alternatives.
Since 2000, the BCA's posture has varied between constructive to obstructive. It is striking that the BCA was at one point a strong supporter of emission trading schemes (ETS) as the most cost-effective mechanism to reduce emissions, yet it made no effort to protect the legislated ETS that is due to start next year, or to ensure the Government’s alternative can become equally effective.
We welcome the appointment of Sustainable Business Australia to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and look forward to working with business that is serious about significantly reducing pollution and ensuring that Australia can be helpful in the global effort to avoid two degrees warming.
For more information
Kristina Stefanova | Communications Director | 02 8239 6299