On Sunday, the Australian Government launched its "Clean Energy Future", which aims to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.
The initiative combines a number of measures to drive emission reductions throughout the economy while minimising the pain felt by ordinary citizens:
- a carbon tax of AUS$23 (US$24.50/ £15/ €17.40) on the largest polluters, which will convert to a cap and trade system by 2015;
- income tax reductions and rebates for individuals and families to balance out the trickle-down effects of the carbon tax;
- incentives to promote renewable energy;
- policies to encourage lower-emissions land use measures.
Let's hope they're paying attention, and are brave enough to raise the ante.