The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will
be keeping a close eye on businesses when it comes to the new
carbon pricing scheme.
The consumer body released guidelines this week to help
businesses understand their obligations in not making false or
misleading statements to a consumer about the impact of the carbon
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury said
that "while business costs change frequently and prices can
increase at any time, the carbon price is expected to have only a
modest impact on most prices".
Clean Energy Act 2011
The new Clean Energy Act 2011 (and associated legislation)
establishes a national carbon pricing scheme which will operate in
A fixed price phase from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015, starting
at $23/tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2-e) for 2012 – 2013
and then increasing to $25.40/tCO2-e for 2014 –
A floating price phase commencing on 1 July 2015 where the
Federal Government will set annual caps on the number of carbon
units to be issued in each year. The price of those units is to be
determined by the market forces of supply and demand, subject to
carbon unit floor prices for the first three years of phase
Penalties may apply
The ACCC will use its powers under the newly introduced
Australian Consumer Law to investigate and prosecute businesses
which mislead consumers about the impact of putting a price on
carbon pollution. Misleading conduct could result in penalties of
up to $1.1 million.
What this means for you
If you choose to make a claim about the impact of a carbon
price, you need to make sure it is right. Businesses liable under
the new carbon pricing law have to consider how they allocate
liability under the carbon pricing scheme – whether it be
within their corporate group or unincorporated joint ventures. This
is in relation to both statutory and contractual liability.
We recommend putting into action appropriate and effective
compliance systems that incorporate cost transfer and allocation
Please contact us if you would like to know how this will impact
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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To fully appreciate the significance of the 2012 reforms, it is important to consider the cabotage regime in Australia prior to the enactment of the 2012 reforms.
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