Miners warn of huge ETS job losses
THE minerals industry has demanded Kevin Rudd overhaul his proposed emissions trading system or risk smashing Australian jobs and the nation's industrial competitiveness.
As the Prime Minister lobbied global counterparts for action on climate change in New York yesterday, the Minerals Council of Australia warned that his ETS plans were far too tough compared with new European Commission ETS proposals that emerged during the weekend.
If Mr Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme went ahead, the council said, it would cripple the ability of Australian companies to compete against Europeans, costing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars and having no environmental benefit.
The dire warning came as Mr Rudd continued to express pessimism about the chance of a new agreement on global emissions reductions at the UN Copenhagen climate change summit in December.
MCA acting chief executive Brendan Pearson yesterday backed the cautious approach, seizing on weekend proposals from the European Commission to attack the CPRS as a potential job-destroyer.
Under the EC proposals, Mr Pearson said, 80 per cent of minerals producers and manufacturers would receive free permits, meaning the coal, aluminium, copper and non-ferrous metals industries would faced little cost.
At the same time, 90 per cent of Australia's mining exports, by value, would be produced without any compensation.
"While Australia's coalmining sector pays $5 billion in carbon costs over the next five years, the EU industry will pay nothing," Mr Pearson said. "While the Australian gold sector pays $810million, the comparable industries in the EU (and US) will face no or limited permit costs."
Sounds like a level playing field, doesn't it?
Read it here.