What is the carbon tax?
At the centre of the government’s policy on climate change is pricing carbon. Many commentators and politicians have referred to this as a “carbon tax”. The idea is that polluters will pay per tonne of carbon they release into the atmosphere. This cost will initially be set at $23, and increase gradually until 2015, when we will shift to a trading scheme that will let the market set the cost. This is widely thought of as the most effective and least costly mechanism to reduce carbon output and reduce the level of climate change that is occurring. Continue Reading…
What is the cost of not acting?
Aside from a swathe of overwhelmingly negative effects to our way of life and the environment if we do not make a global effort to fight climate change, there are significant risks to the Australian economy if we do not take steps towards pricing carbon. John Birmingham of the Sydney Morning Herald published an illuminating article detailing how we will end up paying whether or not a price on carbon is introduced. The difference is to who that money will go – to Australian taxpayers in the form of compensation, or to overseas jurisdictions in the form
of penalty payments.
Is Australia acting ahead of others?
People often ask why should Australia act to reduce their carbon pollution when other countries are not. The reality is that many other countries have already made huge steps towards reducing their carbon output, and that includes developing nations like China. Countries have started this transformation to take advantage of the economic opportunities stemming from the next stage of global development that will be powered by clean energy. We are starting to see the emergence of more and more solar power projects around the globe in addition to the already large number of projects underway for wind power. The clear trend is undeniably towards clean and renewable energy sources.
Will the carbon tax be used to pay off government debt?
One criticism levelled at the carbon tax is that the Labor government is going to use it to pay off their debt. This claim is entirely untrue, as the entirety of the revenue taken in by the carbon tax will actually be put towards compensating taxpayers and affected companies. So much so, in fact, that there is an impact of approximately $4 billion to the Federal budget bottom line.