Australia to introduce carbon tax in July 2012

As the Wall Street Journal notes : ” Australia’s controversial plan to introduce a tax on carbon emissions cleared a major political hurdle Wednesday, securing the expected approval of the country’s lower legislative house.”

” The package to introduce a price on carbon pollution and encourage investment in clean and renewable energy narrowly passed at 74-72. The law is now assured easy passage through the Australian parliament.

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard will thus hold her promises to tax greenhouse gases emissions in 2012 as she was stating in July.

The WSJ give us further details :

The package will allow the government to price emissions of carbon dioxide at a rate of 23 Australian dollars (US$23) a metric ton to the nation’s 500 biggest polluters to curb emissions and cut pollution.

The measure also aims to encourage investment in clean and renewable energy, provide assistance to some affected industries including steel, and to provide compensation by way of tax cuts and increase government pension payments, Ms. Gillard said.

The New York Times goes on :

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s proposal for Australia to adopt the second-largest emissions trading scheme in the world, after the European Union’s, cleared its biggest hurdle yet on Wednesday as the lower house of Parliament voted to pass it.

The bill, which squeaked through a sharply divided House of Representatives by a vote of 74-72, would impose a carbon tax on 500 of the country’s biggest polluters starting in July of next year before transitioning into a market-based trading scheme in 2015.

It is expected to easily pass the Senate, the upper house of Parliament, next month with the backing of senators from the Green Party.

“Today is a significant day for Australians and the Australians of the future who want to see a better environment,” the Reuters news agency quoted Ms. Gillard as saying before the vote.

Australians to date have a large carbon footprints, similar to Americans. (20.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita in Australia to compare to 28 for the USA and only 13.1 for France according to

Let’s hope this will cut sharply the nation’s greenhouse gases emissions.

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