Australia votes to repeal carbon tax

In this Wednesday, July 2, 2014 photo, smoke billows out of a chiming chimney stack of a steel works factories in Port Kembla 86 kilometers (53 miles) south of Sydney Australia has one of the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emission rates in the world

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Australia's Senate has voted to repeal the carbon tax, a levy on the biggest polluters passed by the previous Labor government.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose Liberal-National coalition beat Labor in an election last year, had made the repeal a central aim of his government.

Politicians have been locked in a fierce row about the tax for years.

Labor says it helps to combat climate change, but the Liberals claim it penalises legitimate businesses.

The Australian Senate voted by 39 to 32 votes to repeal the tax.

Introduced in July 2012, it charges the 348 highest polluters A$23 (£13; $22.60) for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce.

'Bereft of policy'

Australia is the developed world's worst polluter per head of population. But critics, including Mr Abbott, said that the tax cost jobs and forced energy prices up.

There were widespread protests against the introduction of the tax in Australia and its repeal formed a major part of Mr Abbot's election manifesto.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the carbon tax had been "useless and destructive"

He says he plans to replace it with a A$2.55bn taxpayer-funded plan under which industries will be paid to reduce emissions and use cleaner energy.

His coalition does not hold a majority in the Senate but the repeal went through with the support of senators from mining tycoon Clive Palmer's Palmer United Party.

"Scrapping the carbon tax is a foundation of the government's economic action strategy," said Mr Abbott, calling the move "great news for Australian families".

"We are honouring our commitments to you and building a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia."

Labor and the Greens voted against the repeal, with Greens leader Christine Milne describing the vote as an "appalling day for Australia".

Labor accused Mr Abbott of "taking Australia backwards while the rest of the world is moving forward".

"All of Australia's major trading partners are taking serious action on climate change, including in our own region," opposition leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.

He says his party will include a policy to introduce an emissions trading scheme in its campaign for the 2016 election.

The Climate Institute think-tank said in a statement that the move left Australia "bereft of credible climate policy".

"What we are left with as potential replacement policy rests on three wobbly legs - a government fund subject to an annual budgetary arm wrestle, uncertain non-binding limits on some company emissions, and a renewable energy target under assault," it said.

Australia has promised to reduce its emissions levels by 5% on 2000 levels by 2020.

A target of obtaining 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 also remains in place, and Mr Palmer has said he will not support its repeal.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 100.


    What is your point?

    China, US, India and the G8 are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. They may be 10 years behind the EU, have different targets and carbon intensities but everyone must play their part.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Opposed to Carbon Taxation? Good: you are happy to start fracking the Jurassic Weald straight away. from Hampshire to Central London. It is the best place to start as it has the infrastructure. Could be decades before appropriate infrastructure is in place in the North.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Immigrants, Gt Barrirer Reef, I thought the Aussies liked making cuts?

    == It is happening, the percentage of 'European-ancestry' Aussies is down to around 86%. It is just a matter of time

    92.Alan of Sydney

    No worry, Aussies have plenty of minerals to export to compensate the deficit, we little britain don't have, we do have plenty of green grass, though

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    The complexity of eco systems/habitats & species on this planet has evolved through many changes, hot/cold/wet/dry

    To maintain current & increasing populations we need continuity of just right mummy bear conditions & this planet is increasingly NOT providing them & humans are making everything worse, not better.

    The future can only have one outcome, mass deaths, when bubbles burst, carry on!

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Climate change isn't going to be reversed so politicians and scientists need to stop wasting money on pointless schemes trying to reverse it and focus their efforts on ways we are going to manage it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    Start living in the real world, every country is guilty of pollution, so play your part and clean up your acts. Pollution does cause global warming.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    89. JasonEssex

    Tell me, where do you live?...........Highgate?

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Well done Australia.
    The Senate has listened to the majority of Australians, and repealed this left wing anti business law, brought in by the socialist Labour Party.
    We should learn from them, and begin fracking ASAP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.


    6 years of ALP/Greens mismanagement saw a budget surplus go from a 90 billion surplus into a hundreds of billions deficit that costs a billion a month in interest to repay. Australia is as broke as most other countries for the foreseeable future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    'a safe and secure Australia' is not going to be achieved if they further ruin the planet. Yet again another example of a shambolic government trying to look after their own personal interests of today, and paying no attention to the reality of tomorrow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    This is a great day for anyone who values money and lying over the survival of the human race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    Do you not it ironic that most carbon levy's achieve the opposite and INCREASE CO2? The manufacturing still goes on, but is shipped backwards and forwards across the world. The real solution is for government to step in and build green electricity, and try to reduce electricity costs to bring back production from CO2 heavy nations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Well done Australia - to repeal a ridiculous tax and thus enabling the mining industry to do it's job. Obviously the tree huggers and religious climategaters are all up in arms but the stoic Australian government rightly showed them two fingers. Chew on that greenies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.


    Present way of human species is endemically genocidally destructive, or havent you noticed history

    Will this planet be better in 50 years or worse, food/water sustainability & another 3+ billion people = 9 billion+ competing & FIGHTING more for existinal survival

    Will present path exterminate thousands of species & poison/destroy the land air, or make it better?

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Immigrants, Gt Barrirer Reef, I thought the Aussies liked making cuts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    A question to all:

    "Which country or countries outside the EU has or have deliberately reduced their total CO2 output?"

    I have been asking this question for about a year now and no-one can give any answer in the affirmative.

    I maintain outside the EU, there is NO FEAR about any "CAGW."

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Despite what you read in here, Oz has not got dramatically hotter no more than cold climates have got colder. Try looking at the oceans and the sun for the reasons the weather is irregular not blame all on what people are doing.

    Don't make such drastic changes to the world that will cost Trillions to put right in 50 years.

    Know what you are doing before making changes to the way we live.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Well done, Australia. Solar energy should be a good choice for your country (good news to the Chinese I bet). Don't forget HS rails too. As one of top rich nations, unlike Britain, you have money (envy) and you can do it

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Zakmann 73. Get a grip old son. The majority said no to the carbon tax. It seems you don't agree with that, well that's OK, that's democracy. You are entitled to voice your misguided opinion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    I am so much surprized by the popular comments below. So many people are ignorant in basic things. The main greenhouse gas is water vapour. Plants use carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates necessary for growth. This process is called photosynthesis.


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