Sunday, June 10, 2007

Carbon trading junction up ahead

The Australian Federal Elections 2007 will bring us to a crossroad. With the Howard Government committing to a cap and trade approach to developing a carbon market, aimed to be established by 2012, we now have choice at the election. In this article Steve Burrell of the SMH surveys the terrain up ahead.

clipped from

Welcome to the Carbon Rush of the 21st Century, a potential bonanza that, globally, could make the 19th century gold rushes look small by comparison.

But the precise path to the future - and the biggest winners and losers - will depend a lot on who wins the election later this year.

While both sides now agree on the broad framework for solving the problem, they differ on crucial aspects, creating a new layer of uncertainty for business at least for the next year or so.

Crucially, neither side has specified their short and medium-term targets for reducing CO2 - and won't until after the election. And that means the likely carbon price that will emerge is difficult to estimate even if you could predict the uncertain election outcome.

But the price that emerges is central to which of the alternative technologies become economically viable, as well as the broad path of investment in existing generation technologies.

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