Human Going Green Moments

Australia to tax country’s worst polluters.

by Al Jazeera:

Australia has unveiled extensive plans, including a tax on its worst polluters, to reduce its carbon pollution by 5 per cent over the next nine years.

In what is the largest carbon-reduction scheme outside Europe, the country’s 500 worst polluters will be forced to pay $25 for every metric tonne of carbon dioxide they emit from 2012. Some of this money will be used to help compensate households that will be hit by higher power bills.

Gillard’s plan, which is highly unpopular since as it will drive up household energy costs, would cut 159 million tonnes of carbon pollution by 2020, reducing emissions by 5 per cent compared to 2000 levels.  The scheme will cost $4.7 billion to implement, including household and industry compensation to avoid a political backlash.

Australia, a major coal exporter, relies on coal for 80 per cent of electricity generation, which in turn accounts for 37 per cent of national emissions.

The government would also set up loan guarantees for electricity generators through a new energy security fund, to help the industry refinance loans of between $9bn and $10bn over the next five years. The scheme will fund the shut-down or partial closure of the dirtiest generators and remove up to 2,000 megawatts of capacity by 2020.

Europe’s reduction system, which covers the 27 European Union member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, has forced power producers to pay for carbon emissions, driving cuts where power plants were forced to switch to less carbon-emitting natural gas or biomass. Outside the EU, only New Zealand has a national scheme in operation.

Al Jazeera

Kudos to Australia for finally tackling their dependence on carbon. Given the package will compensate households, the increase in cost will happen subtly easing the impact for residents. This in turn could prove to be beneficial for Australia’s fishing industry as cleaner ocean waters yield healthier fishes 🙂