Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, pictured with Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers, is yet to discuss finer details of his proposed climate policy.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, pictured with Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers, is yet to discuss finer details of his proposed climate policy. Liana Walker

Climate policy could cost Flynn businesses $6.2b: LNP

THE LNP has unleashed a campaign against Labor's climate policy, suggesting it could cost Flynn's high-emitting businesses $6.2billion.

The Liberal National Party has released its estimates on how much businesses could be forced to pay if they fail to meet emissions reduction targets as part of Labor's proposed Climate Action Plan.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has not revealed what emissions reduction targets would be set for businesses, however he has said it would be a tailored approach to ensure international competitiveness is not hurt.

Based on a 45 per cent reduction in emissions to be achieved between 2020 and 2030, the government said its estimates showed the policy would be a "significant burden" on Gladstone region businesses.

It said Boyne Smelter and Rio Tinto Yarwun would be hit hardest with an estimated combined cost of $1.13 billion.

It said the policy would cost QAL $467 million, Orica Yarwun $229.6 million, Cement Australia $357 million and Gladstone Ports Corporation $4.2 million.

The LNP said Labor's policy would also affect Curtis Island LNG plants, with a $577 million impact on APLNG, $217 million impact on QGC and $744 million on GLNG.

But Labor's climate change and energy spokesman Mark Butler has blasted the estimates saying they are based on "dodgy numbers".

He said it was a "desperate attempt to cover up (the Prime Minister's) pathetic inaction on climate change".

Mr Butler said the modelling didn't reflect Labor's policy and were the result of ridiculous assumptions used in an attempt to mislead voters and weren't worth the paper they were written on.

"Modelling that assumes such a high offset price is weird, wacky and wrong," he said.

But Mr Butler and Mr Shorten are yet to reveal the cost of the increased emissions reduction target to businesses and the economy.

The government's estimates were based on an international carbon price of $35 in 2020, which would increase to $62 by 2030.

But Bloomberg New Energy Finance special projects boss Kobad Bhavnagri said it was impossible to know the price of international offsets past 2020 because the United Nations had not developed the rules to govern the market.

Mr Bhavnagri said forecasts were always overestimated.

"That is because forecasters like me cannot anticipate human ingenuity and innovation," he told AAP.

"But experience has clearly shown that once goals are set, innovators and businesses get to work and always find cheaper and better ways to do things."

Labor's policy includes an expansion of the government's Safeguard Mechanism to include 250 large Australian firms and 110 medium sized firms.

The companies, which include 22 in the Flynn electorate, would be required to reduce non-electricity emissions to meet targets.

Labor is yet to reveal what the targets would be for individual businesses.

Businesses that fail to meet the targets would be required to buy domestic or international carbon credits.



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