The key recommendation of the Australian prime minister John Howard's Task Group on Emissions Trading is to establish an Emissions Trading Scheme within Australia as the principle market based mechanism for determining carbon price signals in a carbon constrained world. The group's report said that Australia cannot afford to wait upon a global emissions trading regime and should devise its own so as to avoid the shortcomings of present schemes and also to articulate internationally. Both emission reduction targets and carbon price should be low initially and ramp up. The report recommends an emissions trading scheme that will "establish market signals that encourage the adoption of new technologies and energy efficiency measures rather than impose an indiscriminate punitive tax." It also said that the scheme should be "the only system in Australia run by the Australian government replacing the multitude of various and varying State and Territory mitigation policies and measures." In response, Howard said that "Australia will move to implement a comprehensive cap and trade system beginning no later than 2012." This will be "more comprehensive, more rigorously grounded in economics and with better governance than anything in Europe."
WNA's Policy Responses to Global Warming information paper