Climate change regulations pose significant challenges to firms that produce large volumes of carbon emissions. Accordingly, firms in the trade-exposed emission intensive industries are critical regulatory stakeholders. Following the Australian Government's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2007, the proposed installation of an emission trading scheme is one of several business concerns as the government seeks to implement climate change policies and regulations. In this study, we inve stigate some of the major concerns that confront emission intensive businesses, and ask what the critical issues are for firms as a consequence of climate change policy implementation and what this means for their strategies. The study uses a concept mapping and analysis technique to reveal that future emission trading systems and business performance impacts resulting from emission reduction initiatives represent serious strategic concerns to stakeholder firms. Adaptable business strategies offer a potential solution to these perceived concerns and problems. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.