Discussion paper

Possible design for a national greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme

Climate change Emissions trading Australia

This Discussion Paper has been prepared by the National Emissions Trading Taskforce, which reports to the Premiers and Chief Ministers of all Australian States and Territories.

The paper sets out a possible design for a national emissions trading scheme. The scheme is designed to achieve long term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in an economically efficient way. It aims to provide a framework for emissions reduction that gives business and the community certainty and predictability.

The underlying motivation for advancing a Discussion Paper on such a scheme is the view that the future prosperity of Australia may be better served by taking early action to adapt to a “carbon constrained” world, rather than putting off action and risking a shock to the economy and society. The fundamental obligation of governments is to create a robust and predictable regulatory framework within which new technology and innovation can be developed and applied - to create incentives and rewards for improved environmental outcomes.

The Taskforce has taken care to try to understand and address the impacts that emissions trading could have on different sectors and groups within Australian society and the economy. Importantly, the scheme provides for a gradual start, and for assistance to sectors which might otherwise be adversely affected.

Public consultation, feedback and comment on the proposals in this paper will be critical in informing refinements to the design, and the decision of Premiers and Chief Ministers about how to proceed.

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