Australia has unveiled extensive plans, including a tax on its worst polluters, to reduce its carbon pollution by 5 percent over the next nine years.
In what is the largest carbon-reduction scheme outside Europe, the country’s 500 worst polluters will be forced to pay $25 for every metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit from 2012.
Some of this money will be used to help compensate households that will be hit by higher power bills.
“Australians want to do the right thing by the environment,” said Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose country is the rich world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas emitter due to a heavy reliance on ageing coal-fired power stations for electricity generation.
“That is why the Gillard government is implementing a comprehensive plan for a clean energy future for our nation,” she said.
The scheme will cover 60 percent of Australia’s carbon pollution apart from exempted agricultural and light vehicle emissions.
The scheme will cost $4.7bn to implement, including household and industry compensation to avoid a political backlash.
Coal miners would be eligible for a $1.4bn compensation package to help the intensive mines adjust to the tax, which would add an average $1.9 per ton to the cost of mining coal.
Australia, a major coal exporter, relies on coal for 80 percent of electricity generation, which in turn accounts for 37 percent of national emissions.
Europe’s reduction system, which covers the 27 European Union member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, has forced power producers to pay for carbon emissions, driving cuts where power plants were forced to switch to less carbon-emitting natural gas or biomass.
Outside the EU, only New Zealand has a national scheme in operation.
-english.aljazeera.net, 10 July 2011
Most scientists the world over agree that carbon pollution is a contributing factor to global warming. However, there is a large group of dissenters who argue that manmade pollution is not the cause of the much acclaimed global warming.
What is our position? We insist, based on Holy Scripture, that although the weather pattern in recent time has exhibited ups and downs, fundamentally, there is no change. The Bible says, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
The nations that implement strict pollution standards are the richest and most successful in the world. Also, they will benefit even more as additional nations will jump on the bandwagon, proclaiming the urgency with their message, “Save the planet.” But the real and final global destruction involving planet Earth is documented for us in 2 Peter 3:12: “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”