While the Federal Government is pushing to begin its emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2010, businesses are calling for the delay of the introduction arguing the scheme could significantly lift prices.
Xstrata Australia chairman Peter Coates said the success of the ETS would depend on the support of other large carbon emitters.
“We support leadership. What we don’t support is being leaders with no one following. In other words, if America and India and China do not follow, it is an absolute waste of time and enormously value-destroying, not just for our industry,” Mr Coates told The Australian.
Among other companies calling for the delay is Qantas Airways, which argues the Garnaut report’s proposal of the scheme would threaten its profitability.
“To sum it up, we estimate that an ETS as it’s currently proposed – 100 per cent auctioning – in 2010 could add up to $35 a barrel onto what we’re paying today,” Qantas chief risk officer Rob Kella told the Australian Financial Review.
Mr Kella added that introducing the scheme before other countries would disadvantage Australian-based operators, curtailing their international competitiveness.