Australia’s policies to mitigate climate change and promote the use of clean energy will likely drive investment of A$100 billion ($103 billion) during the next four decades, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet said.
To extend its action on climate change, the government intends linking with emissions trading schemes in New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Combet said in a speech delivered today in Sydney.
The Australian government has set a price of A$23 a metric ton on carbon emissions for about 300 of its largest polluters for the year that started on July 1, with a market-based price scheduled to begin in 2015.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has pledged to repeal what he calls a “toxic” carbon tax should his Liberal-National coalition win power in the next election.
A market-based approach is best for an orderly, planned and gradual transition to a low carbon economy, Combet said.
“Businesses and investors are making decisions based on the carbon price,” Combet said. “Repealing the carbon price would be damaging to investment confidence and undermine the business decisions that have already been taken.”