Australia approves US$24 per tonne carbon tax as part of new legislation

Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia (source: flickr/ yewenyi, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Nov 2011

Australian legislators approve US$24 per tonne carbon tax as part of new Clean Energy legislation that provides a much valued lifeline for the country's geothermal energy sector.

In a close vote, the Australian Senate has approved the controversial law on pollution. The Clean Energy Act will force the “country’s 500 worst-polluting companies to pay a tax on their carbon emissions from 1 July of next year.”

The vote was passed in the lower house and in the Senate in a rather tight vote with not much of a majority.

The government has set the initial price per tonne of carbon at Australia $23 or about US$24, much higher than other similar schemes such as in the EU where the price is between US$9 and $13 per tonne.

It is expected that the bill will particularly hit the country’s mining firms, airlines, steel makers and energy firms.

The carbon tax has been pretty much a shot in the arm for the geothermal energy industry in Australia, that is considered to be one of the only base-load capacity and renewable energy options Australia has.

Australia will see its Annual Australian Geothermal Conference in Melbourne, November 16-18, 2011.

Source: BBC News