AGL welcomes carbon pricing plan

AGL Energy Ltd (AGL) has welcomed the announcement today of details of the federal government's proposal to price carbon emissions, including a firm transition to an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

AGL CEO Michael Fraser said: "Both major parties have announced a 5% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target from 2000 levels by 2020. AGL wants to see this bipartisan target achieved at the lowest cost to our customers and all Australian families and businesses.

"Of the various proposals for achieving the bipartisan target, it is widely agreed that a price on carbon via a market-based trading scheme will achieve real cuts in emissions at the lowest cost."

"This has been a consistent finding of the Shergold Report, the Grattan Institute, the Productivity Commission, the Wilkins Review and the National Emissions Trading Task Force."

"State and federal governments in Australia have already promised and spent billions of dollars on funding a variety of programs to reduce greenhouse emissions. However, according to a report released recently by the Grattan Institute, in the past decade these taxpayer-funded schemes have had an 82% failure rate, while the most successful schemes have been those that utilised a market-based trading mechanism.

"For the energy industry, the government has very actively engaged with the key players who are most affected. We need to work through the detail of what has been announced today, but clearly the package has attempted to address a number of key concerns including risks to the efficient and reliable operation of the electricity market, particularly in Victoria and South Australia."

Mr Fraser concluded: "AGL supports the introduction of a price on carbon emissions as soon as possible to provide investment certainty for the energy industry as Australia begins the transition to a low carbon economy."

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 170 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.