Coal-reliant Australia to adopt controversial carbon taxNovember 2011
Australia has adopted a ‘carbon tax’ so that around 500 of its biggest polluters will have to pay for their emissions.
By two votes, the parliament passed a bill last month under which businesses will pay A$23 ($24, £15, €17) for every tonne of CO2 they emit. The country intends to introduce a full carbon trading scheme by 2015.
The bill comes into effect in July and includes the creation of a A$10bn clean energy fund to seek private investment in renewable energy.
Australia is the world’s biggest coal-exporting nation and the developed world’s highest per capita polluter thanks to its reliance on coal. This latest legislative bid to cap CO2 is the third in three years.
But the tax is controversial. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry claimed the government is politically bankrupt. It said: “Minority government is not serving the Australian economy and the passage of the carbon tax is a perfect example of the failure.”
Tony Abbott, leader of the centre-right opposition, added: “We can repeal the tax, we will repeal the tax, we must repeal the tax.
“This is a pledge in blood. This tax will go.”
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