find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Rudd ramps up emissions target

Rudd ramps up emissions target

The Federal Government on Monday lifted its commitment to emissions reductions, raising the upper limit of its emissions reduction target to a 25 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2020.However,…

The Federal Government on Monday lifted its commitment to emissions reductions, raising the upper limit of its emissions reduction target to a 25 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2020.

However, this upper target will apply only if an ambitious global agreement is reached which would stabilise levels of CO2 equivalent at 450 parts per million or lower by 2050. The Government has maintained its unconditional lower target at just 5 per cent.

The comes following significant criticism from environmental groups of the Government's original conservative proposed target of between 5 and 15 per cent cuts on 2000 levels by 2020.

In deciding to strengthen its stance, the Government reached a compromise with the Greens, who agreed to lower their demand from an upper limit of 40 per cent cuts to 25 per cent.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques partner Louis Chiam told Lawyers Weekly that while the increased upper target would be something for businesses to take into account, it was unlikely to cause considerable concern. "The 25 per cent will only come into being if there is an international agreement and if there is an international agreement it will actually make it easier for businesses to comply, because it will mean a level playing field across the economies," he said.

In addition, the Government has announced it will defer the proposed start date for the scheme by a year - moving it back to July 2011. While the news has already been the subject of media scrutiny, Chiam believes the change won't seriously affect the businesses involved.

"I actually don't think it's going to have a huge impact," he said. "The main thing businesses are keen on is certainty. They want to know 'Is there going to be a scheme or isn't there?'. The actual date of the scheme is less of an issue," he said. "For example, a lot of our clients are in the middle of reviewing their long-term contracts for carbon cost pass-through clauses, and if you're negotiating a contract today, those issues will still be relevant whether the scheme starts in 2010 or 2011."

Although the Federal Opposition was calling for the scheme's start date to be deferred for a year, Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said that it still won't support the bill in the senate.

"In short, Mr Rudd and Senator Wong have tinkered with a deeply flawed proposal that still looks likely to damage the economy, yet has not so far been demonstrated to be the most cost-effective or efficient way to reduce carbon emission," Turnbull said in a statement released yesterday.

Turnbull called on the Government to postpone attempting to put the scheme through the senate and instead refer it to the Productivity Commission "to assess whether it meets the nation's economic and environmental objectives".

"There is scant recognition of complementary measures and no evidence that this is the best way to reduce emissions. While the Government has delayed the start date, that's less important than getting the details right so we don't send jobs and industries offshore," he said.

However, there has already been significant investigation into the merits of an emissions trading scheme, with Professor Ross Garnaut last year finishing up an 18-month study into the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy and the various policy responses available.

In his final report released in September, Garnaut recommended the implementation of an emissions trading scheme committing Australia to reductions of 25 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020, and 90 per cent by 2050 if a global agreement could be reached, and an unconditional target of 5 per cent by 2020 otherwise.

The recommendations were the subject of significant criticism from environmental groups who called for higher 2020 targets.

- Zoe Lyon

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Rudd ramps up emissions target
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...