By Angela Macdonald-Smith
June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Australia's carbon-trading system needs to include as many industries as possible to ensure the costs are shared, the climate minister said, signaling the government will minimize compensation for affected companies.
The more compensation or free permits that are distributed to companies to offset the financial effect of introducing a cost on carbon, the harder it is for the others, Penny Wong will say in a speech in Canberra today, according to an e-mailed copy.
Australia is due to start a national carbon-trading system in 2010 as it seeks to reduce emissions blamed for global warming. Alcoa Inc., the world's third-largest aluminum producer, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd., operator of the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas venture, are among companies that are arguing they should receive free permits.
``Many businesses would like compensation for their circumstances,'' Wong said in the speech. ``These are very difficult decisions indeed. While I am very conscious of each case in isolation, these circumstances need to be considered alongside the government's responsibility to the economy and the community as a whole.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at email@example.com
Last Updated: June 5, 2008 21:16 EDT