Ian Dunlop: Pricing carbon and removing “a great big old subsidy”

CPD Fellow Ian Dunlop discusses the need for greater action on reducing carbon emissions in Australia. The case is made that short-term thinking and short-sighted interest groups have continuously scuttled attempts at transforming Australia into a low-carbon economy. As the resources industry continues to invest in carbon intensive activities Australia is being left behind, and will be ill-prepared for the inevitable structural change in the global economy:

“China and India are well down the track developing these industries, far more so than Australia.  As the true cost of climate change hits home, their transformation away from fossil-fuels will accelerate, notwithstanding that they continue to make substantial fossil-fuel investments in the short term.”

What is urgently needed is greater leadership from within the corporate ranks, like that shown recently by BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers.

“Corporately, CEOs and directors have a fiduciary duty to act honestly, in good faith and to the best of their ability in the interests of the company in perpetuity, not just in the short term. Accordingly Kloppers, and hopefully more of his CEO colleagues, now need to make it clear to both shareholders and the community that they are genuine in seeking urgent action . . .”

Read Ian Dunlop’s article in full on ABC’s The Drum Unleashed.

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