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Carbon commerce in Australia: Smoke, still not much fire

October 26, 2009

This week a major jamboree for those involved in the business of climate change will meet at the Gold Coast, at the Carbon Expo Australasia 2009.  Representatives from international and national banks, brokers, engineering groups, project developers, and service providers will all be present.  Here’s a copy of the programme.

We can expect some very passionate and motivated people to be participating.  Those involved in this market in Australia have to be optimists. 

In 2003 the Liberals pulled the pin on ETS, the 2009 Renewable Energy Target is so far proving a flop due to the rapid decline in the REC price, and it looks likely that significant free permit concessions to industry and fixed price/price caps in the CPRS will mean much of the investment incentive will rapidly dissipate – IF the legislation is passed.

Climate change has lost substantial traction in polls as a priority policy area here and overseas – in the context of substantial economic concerns.

We can expect lots of discussion about how potentiality of the carbon markets – what ifs, maybes, post-kyoto, great technologies, CPRS variables, Australia-NZ trading etc

However, everyone there will be very aware of the lack of certainty, and the apparently dimming prospects for a ‘good’ deal to put in place tough, binding greenhouse gas targets at either Copenhagen or any version of the CPRS passed in November.

Most companies here have by now got used to the idea of a carbon economy – and have been undertaking accounting and operational and policy risk analysis – but it still remains very much an idea, not a reality.

Industry is effectively in suspended animation awaiting the results in parliament,  and in Denmark.

We expect some brave talk, but we don’t expect signs that the money has really started flowing (here)…. yet.

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