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 140.

    Do you remember Al Gore’s hockey stick graph that was proven to be wrong, the last 15 years of global temperature rise that didn’t happen with the scientist told to cover the fact up! Never mind global warming It’s time for a global warning… we are being had!

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    The beauty of science is it’s allowed to critique it’s self in the name of enlightenment and objectivity.
    By that token I hope the climate skeptics do the same thing without relying on the daily mail as their ‘peer reviewed evidence’.
    I hope people do question where their values and views originate from but I fear many echo mantras, which help them justify their apathy. Hope I'm wrong...

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    The UK's reduced CO2 emissions, achieved at great cost to our people and economy were 0.01% of what they increased by in China over the same period!
    CO2 emissions have increased globally as the elite shipped jobs and industry to China to use cheap dirty energy proving it is a sham policy,
    an elitist tax on industrialised nations and their competitors for their own benefit
    Common sense!


  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    If you truly believe that global warming is a lie, a scam, or that you're simply smarter than the thousands of scientists who have dedicated their lives to the study of Earth's climate, then go and write a scientific paper. If you present it well, back it up with substantial evidence & can prove that global warming is a lie, you will be made a millionaire by oil companies.

    If you can't, be quiet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    No surprise conservatives have done this. Now these "legitimate businesses" can use any energy-consuming technology they like, main thing they make a profit. Typical elite arrogance. "Costing jobs"? What decent person wants a job that's going to make the planet uninhabitable? Oz has made a big mistake with this measure (and set a disastrous example) and I for one hope that history remembers it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    At any one time 8 to 9 of the world's 10 largest companies by revenue are either fossil fuel producers / sellers or energy from fossil fuel producers / sellers. Our entire world economy is underpinned by fossil fuel and population growth. Until this situation changes the future way of life for our species could well be grim.

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    how a broad based consumption tax was going reduce global warming is still a mystery - wrong model

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    The IPCC predict 1.2`C of warming due to CO2. AR5 Nov.2013.
    The rest of their predictions of 4, 7`C whatever, will they say, be caused by "positive feedback" from the extra water vapour, a much more powerful GG than CO2.
    But there is NO evidence for this +ve feedback. None at all. The same models predicting CAGW also predict tropical warming.

    3m weather balloons since the 60`s haven`t found any.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    124. Alan of Sydney

    ALP is miles ahead in the polls.

    "it needed to do deals with greens and others"... Like the Lib need to enter into a coalition and then need to do last-minute deals (in the corridor, without consulting stakeholders) with the likes of Clive Palmer

    "The big con is by those that use climate change as an election ploy". correct. Abbott shamelessly politicised the issue

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    Of course it forced up energy prices. It puts them closer to their true cost rather than just reflecting their direct cost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    Whatever your views on the causes or even existence of global warming, two facts that cannot be denied are:
    1. There is only a finite quantity of fossil fuel available.
    2. For the foreseeable future we will overwhelmingly depend on fossil fuels for our energy needs.

    Therefore any measure which results in a reduction in the rate at which the supply is used up can only be a good thing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    Obviously not warm enough for you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    A lot of brain washed people in regards to 'global warming'.

    As long as a 'study' is released saying 'scientists say' everybody seems to take it as gospel.

    Does no one think 'which scientists?' or 'how was the study conducted?' or 'who funded the study?'.

    Look at who owns these 'green' businesses and it becomes obvious this is an old boys club.

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    Sadly Australia is in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.
    In the same way, the UK government is through the bogus "educational" charity GWPF. By lobbying, the multi-billion $ international interests to pollute will always override multi-million $ national interests to be clean.
    Hence the latest environment minister used to work for Shell, & has a history of objecting to sustainable projects,

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    With respect to those who say it is the sun that is warming the earth, you are correct. But one thing you seem to forget is the ozone layer above earth helps to reduce that heating effect. The greenhouse gases reduce the effect of the ozone layer therefore greenhouse gases increase the rate of warming. Perhaps there should be much more eduction given to the new version of the flat earth society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.


    What a load of rubbish that post is. ALP could not win an election in it's own right it needed to do deals with greens and others to stay in power. Abbot won the last election by an overwhelming landslide. The big con is by those that use climate change as an election ploy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    Good riddance to a totally useless tax. Was never going to make any measurable difference to our climate. Now we need to get rid of the even more useless and expensive renewable energy target. Every alarmist prediction has failed to eventuate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Australians didn't get a vote on whether or not it was dropped.

    The tittle for this article should read "Tony Abbot has voted to repeal the carbon tax"

    NOT Australia has voted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    Some scientific facts: Atmospheric CO2 DOES effect the global mean surface temp; Earth would be frozen if it didn't. YES it's been frozen in the past, when atmospheric conditions were different & they can & do change. NO natural phenomen ever known has altered the Earth's carbon cycle so dramatically in such a short time period. If you disagree, then you may as well agree the Earth is flat.


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