Carbon Tax (Australia)


Australia, one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, is one of the planet’s worst emitters of greenhouse gases per capita, as it not only relies on coal for 80 percent of its electricity generation from indigenous coal reserves but is a major coal exporter as well, particularly to the voracious demands of the Chinese energy market.

Under the October 2011 passed legislation the new Carbon Tax, goes into operation July 1, 2012, affecting companies that produce at least 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The carbon tax effect will start July 2012. The tax will initially price carbon at A$23 (€17) per tonne in 2012-13, A$24.15 in 2013-14 and A$25.40 in 2014-15. Carbon trading will commence in 2015-16 with a price floor of A$15, rising by 4% per year. The tax has been fiercely opposed by the resource sector and industry, manufacturing and business lobby groups. However, Australia aims to cut the country’s emissions by 5 percent from year 2000 levels by 2020, and bring emissions down 80 percent by 2050.

By 2020 the carbon price will take 160 million tons of pollution out of the atmosphere every year.;That’s the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the road. As the world’s largest per-capita carbon polluter, with an economy largely dependent on coal, Australia produced 577 million tons of carbon emissions in 2010, Department of Climate Change figures indicate. Australia would join the ranks of the European Union and New Zealand in having national emissions trading schemes, which exist on regional levels in the United States and Japan.