Greenhouse Issues Hit Mainstream

01 Oct 2006Archived News Climate Change Matters

It has been a long time coming, but greenhouse and global warming issues are now considered among the most urgent of Australia's environmental problems in the mainstream community. The reason for the up-swell in attention on the issue is in part due to the release of Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", and in part due to the irrefutable scientific evidence that greenhouse gases are changing the climate of our planet.



Released this week was the WWF's Living Planet Report 2006, the organisation's biennial statement on the state of the natural world. It says that Australians still have one of the largest ecological footprints in the world, and that we produce more greenhouse gases per person than most other countries on the planet. However, on a positive note, Australia's global footprint has reduced over the past 2 years - from 7.7 global hectares per person in 2004 to 6.6 hectares in 2006.

The result of all this publicity is an increasing focus on what we can do as individuals and businesses to help address the problem. The Australian Government to date has focused on technology solutions in programs such as the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act and the Solar Cities Program. These programs are part of the answer but they are unlikely to be enough. At the Environment Business Australia annual Sustainability Summit this week, organisations such as Origin Energy and BP stated that having a carbon price in Australia is essential to achieve the level of greenhouse reductions that are required. This will assist energy suppliers in making the correct long term investments in our energy infrastructure. In the absence of federal policy on carbon markets, the State and Territory Governments have proposed a model for a National Emissions Trading Scheme which is currently available for comment.

Businesses have a real opportunity to improve their long term attractiveness to investors by proactively managing their carbon risk. There are various environmental markets already operating, both mandatory and voluntary, that have provided businesses with significant commercial opportunities.

Energetics will be running a series of client briefings on carbon markets at the end of November 2006. Invitations will be released over the next couple of days. In the meantime, Energetics would be pleased to help you with any queries you may have on carbon markets and how they might provide opportunities for your business.

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