There Has Been Confusion About What A Carbon Tax Is And

1296 WordsFeb 28, 20176 Pages
There has been confusion about what a carbon tax is and does; perhaps the word ‘tax’ is to blame. Unlike most taxes it’s not aimed at raising revenue but at changing behaviour, to make it more likely that Australia will meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Australia has more reason to do this than most other countries. We are the biggest per capita emitter of carbon dioxide among developed nations, and the world’s 10thbiggest emitter overall, despite our small population. In 2009 we emitted 19.64 tonnes per person, compared with the world average of 4.49 tonnes or China’s 5.83 tonnes. We have already experienced the effects of more extreme weather – from droughts and bushfires to floods, and as a coastal nation we…show more content…
It will set up the economy for deeper cuts down the track, and can be easily boosted if global action increases. Just as for individuals, the cost for most businesses will be quite light, cushioned by compensation packages aimed at easing the initial pain. So it’s a gradual start, with a fixed carbon price from July 2012, then from July 2015 there’ll be a market – an emissions trading scheme with a floor and a ceiling price for carbon. This hybrid approach is a way of achieving long-term stability of the carbon price, encouraging investment in new technologies. This gradual start (due to industry and political opposition) means that the biggest short term impact should come through ambitious spending programs driven by revenue from the tax. A $2 billion a year Clean Energy Finance Corporation, run by an independent board of energy and investment experts, should kick-start investment in large scale clean technologies, and in improving our substandard industry energy efficiency and ‘clean’ goods manufacturing. Some revenue will be spent buying out and shutting down about 2000 megawatts of the dirtiest coal power, including Hazelwood or Yallourn power stations in the Latrobe Valley. A Climate Change Authority, run by former Reserve Bank chairman Bernie Fraser, will make annual recommendations on Australia’s greenhouse targets, based on assessment of what is happening
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