The Climate Change Authority (The Authority) called for submissions on updating the Authority’s previous advice to Government on the policy toolkit required to meet Australia’s emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Representing the major accounting bodies in Australia, CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants ANZ prepared a joint submission to the Authority recognising the ongoing debate and controversy surrounding Australia’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets including effectiveness in arresting anthropogenic global warming; equity in terms of contrasting global and per capita contribution; appropriate developed economy burden; and capacity to drive economic transformation.
The major accounting bodies in Australia recognise the statements from Government that it will not strengthen these targets and that it will continue to pursue non-market based drivers of emissions reduction. With these factors in mind, our submission to the Authority focused on how best the Australian business community might work within and towards improving outcomes from Government’s stated policy preferences.
The joint submission was prepared and lodged on 23 August 2019.
Key recommendations of our submission:
- We recommend the Government provide a clear direction of Australia’s pathway to a net zero emissions economy between 2050 and 2100. Climate change policy should not be subject to political changes and instead should provide certainty for the future to enable business and households to transition to a low carbon economy
- We recommend that the Government embed these policy commitments in other areas of the economy, to ensure a holistic approach to climate change. We suggest there is significant opportunity to use the R&D Tax Incentive as a lever to help create new industries and technologies in Australia that are fit for purpose in a carbon constrained world. Australia has the potential to transform its economy to one that offers innovative emissions reduction solutions and technologies, particularly to emerging markets with high energy demand such as China and India
- We recommend that consideration is given to how the R&D Tax Incentive could be enhanced to offer additional R&D tax incentives to attract world-leading innovation to Australia. Australia could become the hub or destination of choice for developing cutting-edge green technologies and associated intellectual property, from renewable energy inventions and energy efficiency, to carbon capture and storage technologies. Such an investment will also help Australia to meet the Government’s pledge to double government clean energy research and development investment by 2020
- We recommend Government collaborate with groups and organisations locally who have already been working towards building sustainable roadmaps, such as the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative.