A simple but radical solution for Australia could mean a major shift in our nation’s carbon pricing system.
Key points: The $US50 billion Carbon Tax Fund is a carbon pricing mechanism designed to help Australia avoid the worst effects of climate change Australia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and is a major global contributor to climate change The fund would help pay for an additional $US1.5 trillion in carbon tax cuts Australia is the world leader in greenhouse gas emissions, and is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas.
The Carbon Tax fund has been under the spotlight for its high price tag, and its role in the country’s carbon emissions.
Its aim is to create a carbon tax that would fund a national fund that would pay for $US49 billion in carbon-reduction measures in Australia.
That would mean a massive shift in how we handle our own carbon emissions, with a focus on reducing the cost of energy, improving the efficiency of our vehicles, and making our homes and buildings more energy efficient.
This would be a huge shift in the way we manage our emissions, according to Paul O’Sullivan, senior policy adviser at the Climate Council.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions around how we could deal with emissions, but that hasn’t been very straightforward,” he said.
“The carbon tax is a great opportunity for Australia to change that.”
In a speech to the Senate earlier this month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull outlined his plan for a new carbon tax, with an extra $US40 per tonne of carbon emitted as part of the new fund.
“This is an opportunity to put in place a carbon price that is far more progressive than that currently on the table, to give Australia a real chance to reduce our emissions and put in a serious dent in our greenhouse gas emission trajectory,” he told the Senate.
“I want to see this as a big opportunity for Australians, because we are going to be the most powerful and the most prosperous nation on earth if we are to meet our obligations.”
What the Carbon Tax would cost Australia $US46 per ton of CO2 emissions by 2050.
“It will take a lot to get us there,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The cost of the carbon tax will be enormous.”‘
We’ve got a lot more work to do’While Mr Turnbull has outlined his Carbon Tax plan as a major opportunity to cut emissions, the new policy has been criticised by climate campaigners and environmentalists.
“A $US20 per ton carbon tax in the United States is going to cost the economy about $US400 billion a year,” Mr O’Malley said.”[The] $US$50 billion carbon tax fund in Australia is a $US5 trillion project that will have to be funded by $USUS5 billion in emissions cuts,” he added.
“For us to really hit that target it’s going to take a significant investment, not just to reduce emissions, it’s also going to have to cut costs.”
If we’re going to make that investment we’ve got to be able to invest it.
“You can’t just get around the $US2.8 trillion cost of our climate policy and think that we can just just go and do it ourselves.”‘
If we want to get the economy moving, we’ve had to do a lot with the existing climate policy’Mr O’Hara said the carbon price scheme could be implemented by 2025, but the costs would still be significant.
“Unless we can make the investments in infrastructure and research and development to reduce the cost, it would be more than $US5000 per ton,” he explained.
“There are a lot better ways to get emissions down, but there are also a lot cheaper ways.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects that by 2030, Australia will need to spend more than US$4.3 trillion to achieve its target of a 0.5 per cent emissions reduction in the year 2020.
“So if you think about it, if we want the economy to move, we have to do more with the infrastructure and in the research and innovation that we have already built, because otherwise, we won’t be able,” Mr Morrison said.
The Climate Council’s Mr Olin said the $50 billion fund would not only provide Australia with a significant carbon price, it also could be a catalyst for the national economy to ramp up emissions reductions.
“One of the reasons that Australia has been so good at emissions reduction is because it has been able to leverage its massive economic potential to reduce its emissions in ways that are economically sustainable,” he noted.
“What the carbon taxes do is they really drive the national conversation about carbon reduction.”
Because it’s so cheap, it makes sense for the Australian economy to reduce carbon emissions and we know that there are ways that we could do that.