Ex-Director of two of the largest Oz Super funds to oversee country’s carbon trading system

Respected economist to chair new Climate Change Authority.

Bernie Fraser, a former independent director of two of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, AustralianSuper and Cbus, and currently Chairman of Members Equity Bank, will shortly take a up a key new role as Chairman of the country’s new Climate Change Authority (CCA). The independent body (to be established shortly by legislation) will provide expert advice on key aspects of the Australian carbon pricing mechanism to be introduced in 2015. Fraser is one of Australia’s most respected economists, a former Reserve Bank Governor and ex Treasury Secretary. He stepped down from the two Australian Super Funds at the end of last month. The CCA will play a vital role in the oversight of the carbon price that will come into play when next year’s initial carbon tax moves to a flexible price emissions trading scheme. One of the CCA’s responsibilities will be to make recommendations to the Government on future pollution caps under the carbon pricing mechanism. The CCA will complete its first review – which will provide recommendations on the carbon pricing mechanism’s first five years – by February 2014. At this point, the Australian Government will putannual caps on the amount of carbon pollution that can be released into the atmosphere by entities covered by the carbon price.
These recommendations will have regard to:
• The Government’s announced medium and long-term carbon pollution targets;
• Progress towards emissions reductions;
• The impact of its recommendations on the Australian economy, including on specific industries.
Based on the recommendations, the Government will then make final decisions on these pollution caps. The CCA will also provide advice on the performance of the carbon price and other climate change initiatives and track the progress of Australia’s pollution reduction targets. The CCA, which will be made up another eight members with experience in climate science, economics, emissions trading, climate change mitigation, investment and business, will conduct regular public reviews and its reports will be made public.