Good evening, my name is Anthony Hobley. I am a partner with
Norton Rose; I am Global Head of Climate Change and Carbon
I have been based in Sydney Australia, with Norton Rose
Australia for the last 15 months or so, and have been heavily
involved in the debate around a price on carbon and climate change
I am currently in London, where we have just finished a seminar
organised jointly between Norton Rose, CMIA and Austrade, to look
at the Carbon Pricing Mechanism and the clean energy legislative
package, which is currently passing through the Australian federal
We had speakers from Norton Rose (myself), Vivid Economics, and
Westpac, one of the major Australian banks.
We had an audience largely drawn from London and Europe, who
have experience of the EU emissions trading scheme. Much of the
discussion was on understanding the Australian carbon pricing
mechanism, should it be passed, later this year, and how that is
likely to interact in the global carbon market.
The key issues I think that came out are that many people feel
that the scheme is likely to pass this time. Many of you who know
anything about the debate on carbon climate change in Australia
will know that there have been many attempts before which have not
The scheme is effectively designed with a default position which
implements the Australian 5% target, should the government fail to
set caps once the legislation is passed, which should address major
political uncertainties in the event of a change of government.
There is a lot of interest around whether or not the scheme could
be repealed or rolled back, should there be a change of
Again, I think the conclusions were that it would be, whilst
possible, extremely difficult.
There was also much discussion around the different political
climates in Europe and Australia.
I think once many of those in London, with that European context
where you have a political consensus and you have a business
consensus on the need to tackle climate change, understood that at
the moment that is not the case in Australia, and that this is very
much a hot political potato, they could then understand some of the
design elements and actually the need to provide significant
compensation, and a package for support for industry to protect
jobs and competitiveness.
So once that context was explained I think some of the design
elements in this scheme were understood.
I think the London market represented at the seminar welcomed, I
think, many of the potential investment packages - so for example,
the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the $10bn that will be
available, and I think there were a lot of raised eyebrows at the
fact that this is more than double the UK's Green Investment
So effectively, a country, the UK, with 65 million people is
deploying something like $4.8bn and Australia, a country of 20
million people, is deploying $10bn in addition to money to support
renewable energy, through the Renewable Energy Authority, and the
Clean Technology Package, which adds up to another almost $5bn.
These, I think ,were some of the key issues and points of
interest and discussion, and finally I think obviously from a
global carbon market perspective represented in London, there was a
lot of discussion and interest around the extent to which the
Australian Carbon Pricing Mechanism trading scheme will link with
the international carbon markets through offsets, and there is a
lot of interest, I think, from players in the market to be able to
supply such offsets from the Clean Development Mechanism into the
Ultimately in the longer term, I think members of the audience
wanted to understand if and when an Australian scheme was likely to
link internationally - and it was felt that this would, possibly,
happen in the medium to long term, but not in the short term.
Thank you very much.
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