Carbon Levy - Online Calculator (Highly animated and quite entertaining)
Pricing carbon emissions is intended to use the invisible hand of the price mechanism to gradually lessen our dependence upon fossil fuels by subsidising the increased energy costs of households and “fairly” compensating industry, while protecting our competitiveness and productivity. So, a fixed-price carbon tax on the 500 largest polluters is to commence on 1 July 2012, changing to a cap-and-trade Emission Trading Scheme on 1 July 2015.
Carbon levies on the biggest polluters seek to use the price mechanism to reduce carbon, given that market forces rather than direct action and regulation are favoured. A carbon tax would follow CO2 emission proportions, taxing coal somewhat more heavily than petroleum products, and much more than natural gas. Carbon included in a non-fuel product will not be taxed.
The government hopes that by 2015, community acceptance and international agreements will favour a transition to an emissions trading scheme. Such a scheme is claimed to:
-- add support for a unified global emissions reduction framework;
-- prepare Australia for a future of mandatory carbon limits enforced by punitive international trade rules (despite current objections);
-- raise funds for research and development of clean energy pure and applied technologies;
-- reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions to or below the desired maximum.
However, a large part of the supposed savings are expected to come from credits for carbon-savings gained through the international emissions trading scheme expected to be in operation by then, with the carbon price expected to average about $43 between 2013 and 2020. Note that although (or perhaps because) Australia was recently joined to the EU carbon trading scheme it is increasingly unlikely to be anything like that amount.
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