Don Argus, chairman of BHP Billiton -the biggest mining group in the world, is putting pressure on the Australian government to consider alternatives to the emissions trading plan that it’s planning to introduce in 2010. He said:
“Australia should consider and debate all the alternatives to a cap-and-trade system..I would not leave out the carbon tax initiatives. That’s mine, it’s not the company’s view.”
Australia has committed to reduce its emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2050 and the cap-and-trade scheme is part of its broader effort to meet the target. The plan would bring under its purview a thousand industries who would need to purchase permits in order to emit carbon, thereby cutting down the amount of greenhouse gases vented into the atmosphere.
But since the carbon plan will mean higher costs, Australian businesses would like the government to explore other emission-reducing options. The Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong said:
“We’ve heard from many in the business community that they would prefer a different measure for assessing the cost impact..The government is willing to consider alternative approaches.”