The report recommends that the federal government take steps to “reconsider the timing and extent of Australia’s emissions reduction commitments”.
It also recommends “that the Commonwealth and states work together to develop a national carbon pricing scheme”.
“The Federal Government has a duty to act to ensure Australia has the best chance of limiting the harm from climate change,” the report says.
“The urgency of the issue is clear.”
Key points:The Australian Climate Commission report says Australia needs to “do more to address emissions”The report says the best way to address climate change is to cut emissions in AustraliaFirstly, the report argues the “best way” to address carbon emissions is to reduce them by 20% by 2050, or around 2.5% per year.
The report also says the federal and state governments need to work together, with the federal Labor government and the “Commonwealth on a more robust national carbon price”.
“This means a carbon price of $30/tonne or about 1.5 cents per tonne,” the paper says.”[It] would be more than enough to offset the impact of climate change on energy demand.”
The report’s findings echo those of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACUTU), which released a similar report last month.
But ACUTU president Michael Egan told the ABC the report was “not as comprehensive” as its predecessor, and called on the federal Coalition to “refocus” on “a much more holistic approach to emissions”.
“What is missing from that report is a comprehensive assessment of the cost and cost-benefit of any carbon pricing approach,” he said.
“It is also missing some of the data that we need to understand how to reduce emissions and what the long-term impact will be.”
The carbon price and emissions-reduction planThe ACUTTU report says carbon pricing is the best approach to reduce carbon emissions in the short term and to achieve a transition to a low-carbon economy in the medium term.
“By 2020, the cost-effectiveness of a carbon pricing strategy would be about 2.3 cents per tonnes of CO 2 equivalent,” it says.
The commission also said the federal Government should consider “the most effective” way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the most cost-effective way to achieve climate action.
It says “the federal government should consider: the best time to start a transition, such as the first half of 2020; the best method to achieve this transition, including: reducing emissions; and how to achieve these emissions reductions.”
The ACU’s report also calls for the federal Treasurer and the Governor-General to work “tirelessly” to develop an emissions-cutting strategy.
The carbon pricing proposalThe report calls for an emissions pricing scheme.
“We recommend the federal Treasury, Treasurer and Governor-Gen to work in close partnership to develop the best carbon pricing policy,” the research says.
“The federal government will need to support this strategy by providing a carbon rebate to the states, as well as through a carbon tax.”
This will also enable the federal treasury to contribute to a new emissions trading scheme for the states.
“The plan, the paper states, should: have a “cap on emissions” to cover the cost of implementing the scheme, and “a cap on the amount of carbon that a company can emit from its operations”.”
In addition, it should set a maximum cap on emissions and a cap on total carbon dioxide emissions,” it adds.
The research recommends the scheme should have a cap of 0.25% of national emissions per unit of GDP, which is higher than the 1.3% cap currently used by the federal Greens.
The plan would also set an emissions trading regime, with “cap-and-trade” trading for emissions from a company and a carbon trading scheme that provides an incentive for businesses to reduce their emissions.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which manages the federal electricity market, is the federal agency that would implement the scheme.
However, it’s not clear how the scheme would work.