The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) has today released a comprehensive position statement on climate change policy. It supports the Federal Government’s target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030 and calls for swifter climate action to ease reputational risks for Australian businesses in attracting international investment.
Building on CCIWA’s longstanding support for Australia’s ‘net zero’ by 2050 target, the policy paper reflects consultations with thousands of CCIWA members, reconciling their views and defining a policy course in the best interests of the WA economy and community. It includes a range of strong policy recommendations for both State and Federal Government.
CCIWA believes decarbonisation can be encouraged by strengthening the existing pricing framework – the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Safeguard Mechanism and the Secondary Carbon Credit Market – rather than by establishing alternative carbon pricing mechanisms.
WA businesses strongly prefer the Federal Government to take the lead in establishing coordinated climate change policies with all levels of government working in alignment – and in line with industry ambition.
To secure the skilled workforce required to deliver this transition, both the national skilled migration intake, and the state-based migration programs must be broadened, and we must train up locals in climate relevant skills.
Though WA businesses are committed to action on climate change, a high degree of uncertainty remains about the practical steps they should take. WA’s SMEs will need advice, support and resources to prepare and undertake this transformation. As we did during the COVID pandemic, CCIWA is providing tools and resources for businesses, which can be found at www.climate.cciwa.com. CCIWA looks forward to working with the State Government to ensure businesses get the support they need.
The state government should also establish an independent advisory body on climate change, with cross-sectoral business representation in its membership. This body would provide advice to government about and accountability over progress towards targets, and coordinate the policies and action of government, agencies and government trading enterprises.
Regulations and decision-making processes around access to land and enabling infrastructure significantly slow down the pace at which WA can decarbonise. These barriers should continue to be reduced, as is starting to occur here and in other States.
With WA’s emissions-intensive economy oriented towards the production of energy, minerals and primary industry produce, the critical challenge of climate change is particularly complex. Yet through this process, both regional and metropolitan businesses expressed strong commitment to action and a willingness to bear higher energy prices, in order to pursue responsible emissions reduction targets – provided reliability is not sacrificed. With optimism and innovation, CCIWA is confident that a bright future of diverse industries, sustainable jobs and further prosperity is within WA’s reach.
Media contact: Thomas Adolph 0427 876 846