Trading on the future of our environment

Monday, 23 October 2006

A seminar at the University of Adelaide this week will explore economic incentives to encourage businesses to reduce their carbon emissions.

Four speakers from the public and private sector will address the Emissions Trading Seminar hosted by the University's Sustainability Research Cluster on Wednesday, 25 October.

Emissions trading - an economic instrument to limit emissions - is emerging as a key factor in South Australia's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by 60% of 1990 levels by the middle of this century.

Seminar chair Professor Christopher Findlay, Head of the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide, said the emissions trading schemes involved setting overall targets for a sector or group of companies and then letting individual companies decide how best to achieve their own target.

"Companies are given credits, or allowances, which represent the right to emit a certain amount. If they pollute beyond their allowance they must buy credits from those who pollute less.

"Companies that better their own target can trade or bank their surplus emissions. In effect, the buyer is fined for polluting, while the seller is rewarded for having reduced emissions," Professor Findlay said.

"Emissions trading is a way for the Australian economy to transition more smoothly to a carbon-constrained future and potentially link Australia to international carbon markets. The European Union has recently established its own trading scheme and other regions and nations are actively considering it."

The four speakers are:

  • Tony Beck from the Australasian Emissions Trading Forum, who will outline international and national developments and the opportunities they present for businesses;
  • James White from the National Emissions Trading Taskforce, who will discuss a possible scheme design for Australia;
  • Paul Leadbeter from Norman Waterhouse will discuss the use of Forest Property Agreements to offset carbon emissions;
  • Terry Teoh from Pacific Hydro will describe how emissions markets can be used to build business value.

    The seminar will be held at the National Wine Centre from 3pm-5pm.


Contact Details

Professor Christopher Findlay
Executive Dean
Faculty of the Professions
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3986

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762