In breaking news today at 11.30am Prime Minister, Julia Gillard announced that Australia will have a fixed price on carbon starting from July 1st 2012 as well as an emissions trading scheme. Provided that legislation gets past in Federal Government.
The Prime Minister reached this deal together with the Greens which has been described as crucial for Australia’s clean energy future. In her announcement she said that,
“History teaches us that the countries and the economies who prosper at times of historic change are those who get in and shape and manage the changes.”
“The time is right and the time is now.”
The opposition, Tony Abbott said in Canberra that “Today’s announcement is an utter betrayal of the Australian people,”. He also said that the carbon tax will increase the average families power bills by $300. Abbott who had ruled out any carbon tax as part of his campaign when running in the election last year, vowed that he will try and prevent this from passing “every second of every minute of every day of every week of every month”
(Tony Abbott is a climate skeptic and does not believe in any action involved with combating climate change.)
On the other hand, the announcement was received with enthusiasm by the general population so far, organisations like the AYCC (Australian Youth Climate Coalition) and Greenpeace Australia. Were quick to warn the prime minister that in order for this to be a successful move, the price must be high enough to actually cut back pollution.
The financial world was also quick to comment on the announcement with some saying that this will give a significant disadvantage internationally to Australia’s mining sectors.
Australia is the world’s top exporter of metallurgical coal in the production of steel and is also a big exporter of thermal coal which is used in power generation.
I believe that Julia Gillards decision is the right one, paving the way for other countries to follow suit.