Carbon Price Package – Australia Gives Cautious Thumbs Up

Australia will have a carbon price within 12 months, and it will be $23 per tonne. Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the details of her government’s carbon price package on 10 July, following¬† the commitment vote in favour from independent Andrew Wilkie two days earlier, after a long scare campaign from the Opposition.

Sign: A Price on CO2? I'm cool with that.

A banner from the “Say Yes to Climate Action” rally in Canberra. Photo credit: K McCulloch

The response from Australian expert commentators has been cautiously positive. Is it better than the emissions trading scheme the Rudd Government was offering? Slightly, according to Crikey. Economist John Quiggincalls is “a substantial improvement”; while Professor John Cole (Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development at the University of Southern Queensland) is more equivical, saying it has “more than a few rough edges”, while overall agreeing that it is a “significant first step”.

The basics of the plan are:

  • The price will be $23/tonne from 1 July 2012, rising by 2.5% per year for three years
  • Around 500 businesses will be required to pay for their pollution
  • More than 9.2 billion will be provided to industry, with assistance plans to be reviewed potentially as early as 2014-15
  • Households costs will increase an average of $9.90, but assistance will be an average of $10.10.

More information: straight from the horses mouth, The Australian’s take, Nature Conservation Council of NSW’s response, Sydney Morning Herald.

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