Although comprising under five per cent of the modern economy's GDP, energy has a far greater importance. This has especially been the case for Australia where energy exports - coal and gas - account for over one fifth of the total.
Australian industries and households, until the onset of climate change policies, enjoyed among the cheapest source of electricity and gas in the world. On the back of this we saw the growth of energy intensive export oriented smelting and other industries.
The imposition of regulatory costs designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide has dramatically reversed this former competitive advantage.