Australia to price CO2 emissions in 2012

According to the BBC quoting Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister :As a nation, we need to put a price on carbon and create a clean energy future… Australians want to do the right thing by the environment.”

As they note : ” The Australian government has unveiled plans to impose a tax on carbon emissions for the worst polluters. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said carbon dioxide emissions would be taxed at A$23 ($25; £15, 17€) per tonne from 2012. “

These are good news as Australia is one of the world’s worst emitters of greenhouse gases per head of population. The country relies on coal for 80% of its electricity generation.”

Reuters give us additional information on the likely winners and losers of such a decision :

Australian retail and clean-energy stocks are expected to be among the winners, and airlines and miners among the losers, from a carbon-reduction plan unveiled on Sunday, but markets overall are tipped to take the policy in their stride.

(…) The clearest winners should be the Australian market’s small band of renewable-energy stocks, given that the government announced the creation of a A$10 billion ($10.8 billion) clean-energy fund to finance clean-energy projects or technologies.

This reminds me that at some point France was due to put a price on carbon and finally didn’t. I just hope it won’t be the case for Australia as well. The country really needs to slash its emissions.

Indeed, according to the data calculated by the US Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) quoted by Wikipedia, Australians emit nearly 18 tonnes of CO2 per inhabitant.

(In comparison, Germany is around 10 tonnes and France, six tonnes… )

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