Australian Repeal Deals Blow to Global Carbon-Emission Plans

Wall Street Journal | July 27, 2014

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.

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