Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Another English Speaking Country Puts a Price on Carbon

First the UK, and now Australia.

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.
The Australian scheme aims to reduce emissions by 159 million tonnes CO2e by 2020 - equivalent to taking 45 million cars off the road.  It throws down the gauntlet for U.S. policy makers who are concerned that bold measures will harm the economy.

Let's hope they're paying attention, and are brave enough to raise the ante.