By Vanessa Mock
Australia’s repeal of a pioneering tax on carbon emissions has dealt a sharp blow to struggling international efforts to coordinate on global warming and comes ahead of key climate-change talks next year.
On July 17, Australia’s parliament pulled the plug on the 2012 tax, which charged 348 businesses such as steelmakers and power companies A$25.40 (US$24) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The levy was slated to evolve next year into an emissions-trading system that would link to the European Union’s.
Although environmentalists world-wide applauded the program, Australian consumers and corporations bitterly protested the added costs, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying it sucked A$9 billion off economic growth each year.