Reducing our carbon footprint

LOCAL businesses should tread carefully.

That’s the message from Environment Business Australia (EBA) CEO Fiona Wain, in the lead-up to the Carbon Market Expo Australasia.

Wain says that while the Federal Government needs to look at the international picture, the onus is on local businesses to kick-start industries into taking a hard-lined approach to carbon emissions.

“Queensland is so well placed that it has the potential to lead the world in innovative strategies, in particular geothermal and solar-thermal technology,” she says.

“The time has come and we need the right quality of framework to get this in motion on a large scale.”

The Federal Government’s plan to kick-off its political football — the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in 2011 – has Wain hopeful that local businesses will demonstrate full support.

“The expo will show businesses that there is a commercial upside to this campaign, not just a risk side. Once this is achieved businesses can be innovative in rallying by these projects,” she says.

Wain says Australia is ‘well behind the eight ball’ in its stance on reducing carbon emissions but is confident the country has the innovative technology and resources to leapfrog other nations and become a world leader.

“The technology companies we have taken overseas have made international organisations more aware of our confidence in reducing carbon emission, though perhaps they are not as aware of the major innovations taking place,” she says.

The EBA, whose top priority is to raise awareness about the solutions to environmental challenges which affect the economy, is hosting the Carbon Market Expo at the Gold Coast Convention Centre from October 26-28.

The event will involve panellists and speakers from all over the world including Australian Carbon Trust chair Robert Hill and global head of environmental financial products at London’s Macquarie Bank, John Marlow.

Wain says the lack of action coming out of India and Asia is of particular global concern.

“There has got to be a better way than what we are currently seeing on the ground in India and China. Europe however has started to work closely with China so hopefully future results will be closely linked,” she says.

Wain describes the Australian Government’s stance as a ‘ball of knitting’ waiting to be unravelled. But the event has come at a good time considering the UN meeting on climate change and Australia’s global green challenge happening around the same time.

Australia’s share in the global carbon market has exceeded expected growth by 50 per cent to become $60 billion out of a $6 trillion global industry.

With future technological advancements and increased growth, Wain is confident Australia will be one of the top carbon-friendly nations by 2020.

For more information on the Australasian Carbon Market Expo visit www.carbonexpo.com.au.

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