Costly dodge

Published: Wednesday 31 March 2004

Australia's decision to stay out of the Kyoto Protocol -- the treaty which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions -- is beginning to backfire on it. Companies based in the country are losing out on business in foreign markets as their counterparts abroad are being favoured for renewable energy contracts. Ironically, Australia hasn't ratified the international pact on climate change because it thinks doing so will affect its economy.

Martin Thomas of the Australian Institute of Energy revealed that there are a number of case studies highlighting the trend. The stakes are high because European companies stand to gain from projects executed in developing countries, said Thomas during a senate inquiry. These firms provide for incremental cost (over and above the cost of a conventional project) of a renewable project in return for carbon credits to meet their domestic emission reduction commitments. A developing country also finds it cost-effective to offer a contract to such entities.

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