Study: Govt looks into role of regulators in reducing carbon emissions

Reducing green house gas emissions is a hot button issue in households around the country and often sparks debates about the best way to maintain a high standard of living without hurting the environment.

And while there are a few eco-warriors among us who are willing to 'go without' in order to create a better tomorrow, it seems that most people are looking for energy smart solutions that support their lifestyle.

With this in mind, the federal government has released a new report on the role regulation plays in the day-to-day practices that influence the way we live and impact our choices can have on the world around us.

In this particular study - The Role of Regulation in Facilitating or Constraining Adaptation to Climate Change for Australian Infrastructure - climate change and energy efficiency are at the centre of a major research project.

The report examines how infrastructure is regulated in Australia by examining the social, economic and environmental benchmarks organisations responsible for providing the nation's electricity, transport and telecommunications needs are expected to meet and maintain.

It is also a way of looking at the different criteria public servants and business professionals use to assess new developments - which is important to long-term environmental policy.

The parliamentary secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Drayfus said an analysis of the extent to which regulatory regimes support climate change action was important to the long term vitality of Australia's natural environments.

"It is important that regulations in Australia allow companies to adapt effectively to climate change," Mr Dreyfus asserted.

His comments were supported by the acting minister for Climate Change, Chris Evans, who said: "Most of the regulations for Australian infrastructure were designed without climate change in mind."

A number of organisations seem to have avoided acting on climate change due to the costs associated with 'green' infrastructure.

But in order to drive down the cost major companies are being encouraged to lead the way and adopt eco-friendly initiatives, which would help spread any potential financial strain among big and small retailers, as well as individual households.

Electricity prices are expected to increase along with the introduction of the carbon tax on July 1, making it vital for energy providers to have their own environmental targets in place in order to avoid budget blowouts.

It is also better for consumers if companies adapt quickly to the new energy and resource framework, so that they are not burdened with significant price hikes.

Posted by Charlie Moore