Earlier this week, the Prime Minister announced the membership and terms of reference for the new multi-party Climate Change Committee.
The Committee will explore options for the introduction of a carbon price and will report to Cabinet through the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet. The Committee will examine the issue and make a recommendation to Cabinet. It is not being established to draft legislation and set Government policy on a carbon price.
The Committee will start from the position that a carbon price is an economic reform required to reduce carbon pollution, to encourage investment in low emissions technologies and complement other measures including renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Chair)
Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet (Deputy Chair)
Senator Bob Brown
Senator Christine Milne (co-Deputy Chair)
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the Government would be inviting the Coalition to nominate two members – Tony Abbott has indicated the Coalition’s unwillingness to take part in the Committee. At this stage there is no representation on the Committee from the Coalition.
In addition, the Committee will be supported by two different groups – one comprising expert advisers— Professor Ross Garnaut, Professor Will Steffen, Rod Sims and Patricia Faulkner— and also a Secretaries’ Group comprising the Secretaries of Departments involved in implementing climate change policy.
Terms of Reference
The key part of the terms refers to the setting of a carbon price – the Committee will consider numerous mechanisms, including an emissions trading scheme, a carbon tax, or a hybrid version of the two.
The Committee’s deliberations will broadly be limited to discussions regarding a carbon price and will probably meet monthly until the end of 2011.
Importantly, the deliberations will remain confidential to the Committee and the Cabinet until a formal recommendation is reached.
The full Terms of Reference can be found here http://www.climatechange.gov.au/minister/greg-combet/2010/media-releases/September/mr20100927.aspx
In addition to the Committee, the Government will also establish two roundtables for the business community and the non-government sectors. According to the Government, the roundtables will play an important role providing advice to the Government on the issues surrounding climate change, informing the positions the Government takes to the Committee.
For more information on the Climate Change Committee, or about the Government’s Climate Change policies, please contact Ashley Wells.
First Meeting Communique
The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee held its first meeting in Canberra on 7 October 2010. The Communique is available here.