Australia leads many first-world nations in promoting green energy sources and it shows through once more. On 12th October, 2011 (tomorrow), the Australian House of Representatives will be putting the Clean Energy bill up for voting. Once passed, it will go to the Senate for voting. It is expected to be passed by both the House and the Senate and should come into effect by the middle of next year. One of the primary features of the bill is the levying of a carbon tax on carbon emissions.
The bill has been a long time in the making. The proposal to place a carbon tax came in the 1990’s. Serious thrust was provided this year, especially since July. September saw a Multi-Party meet on climate change and the committee suggested the way forward. The government was also presented the draft proposal to the public and received an overwhelming response.
The bill’s main focus is to maintain sustainable growth, while reducing the carbon footprint of the nation. The bill proposes to reduce the carbon tonnage by 160 million tonnes a year by the end of 2020. The Australian Govt. acknowledges that the climate is changing globally and this change is primarily driven by humans. The main source of the pollution is carbon and this harms the economy as well. Every government should take action towards a green future.
The Important Points
Towards the achievement of a green economy, the Govt. plans to take the following steps:
- Big polluters will have to pay. There will be charges levied for every tonne of carbon that one puts into the atmosphere. The charges are expected to come in fixed slabs, so if you pollute more, you should be ready to pay disproportionately higher than someone who pollutes less.
- Establishment of green industries’ and development of clean energy sources. This will also create jobs and investments. If the big American companies are anything to go by, green industries are doing better than the big polluters like GM or Ford.
- Reduce carbon footprint by 160 million tonnes a year by 2020.
- Use the money collected from carbon taxes to cut taxes on families and increase pensions.
If all goes well, carbon will have a price on it from 1st July, 2012. The exact pricing mechanism will be worked out in meeting and negotiations. The Australian Govt. is already eyeing 500 polluters who will pay under this scheme. The price will be $23 per tonne initially.
The best news is the bill is expected to pass in both the House and Senate, since both have a majority of Green’s. The fact that this money can be returned to the public in form of increased payments shows just one of the ways in which the word sustainable’ is appropriate.
May be I should wait till tomorrow, but I’ll just say it right now Bravo Australia!