By a margin of just two votes (74-72), Australia’s plan to put a price on carbon passed its toughest hurdle today. It is now expected that the Australian legislator will moved forward to put the carbon tax into law. The carbon tax, pushed aggressively by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was just as ferociously opposed by business leaders and opposition party leader, Tony Abbott.
The price on carbon will charge Australia’s top 500 emitters of greenhouse gases $23 per metric ton of carbon beginning in July 2012. This is a temporary measure: in 2015 Australia plans to move toward a cap-and-trade system. Furthermore, the legislation includes funds for investment in renewable energy as well as research and development, and has tax cuts to soften any economic blow to consumers.
For his part, Abbott has pledged to repeal the tax, saying, ‘This is a pledge in blood. This tax will go.’
Australia accounts for around 1.5 percent of global carbon emission, but the nation, almost wholly dependent on coal for energy, is world’s biggest carbon polluter per capita.
Currently the EU and New Zealand both have placed a price on carbon.
The legislation plans to cut Australia’s carbon emissions at least 5 percent by 2020 (from 2000 levels) and 80 percent by 2050.
(07/11/2011) Australia’s 500 largest polluters will pay AU$23 ($24.60) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted beginning July 2012 under a plan announced by Australian prime minister Julia Gilliard.
(09/10/2009) The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced that he will implement a carbon tax to help “save the human race” from global warming.
(06/17/2009) Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish business school professor and author who has riled environmentalists by arguing that addressing climate change should be a lesser priority than health and nutrition initiatives, is calling for a $7 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions, reports the Wall Street Journal.