Date
22 August 2017
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the carbon tax was an unfair shackle on the economy without matching measures in other industrialized countries. Photo: Bloomberg
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the carbon tax was an unfair shackle on the economy without matching measures in other industrialized countries. Photo: Bloomberg

Australia scraps carbon tax in first for a developed country

Australia has repealed a carbon tax law after a year of contentious politics, becoming the first developed country to abolish the levy on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Senate voted 39-32 to scrap the tax, highlighting challenges in implementing additional measures to cut carbon emissions ahead of climate talks next year in Paris, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Australia, the world’s 12th largest economy, is one of the biggest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases due to its reliance on coal-burning stations to power homes and industry.

In 2011, daily emissions per head were 49.3 kilograms, almost four times higher than the global average of 12.8 kilograms and slightly ahead of 48.2 kilograms in the United States.

In May, the World Bank said Australian plans to abolish the tax was one of the biggest international threats to the rollout of similar programs elsewhere.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who made a pre-election pledge to prioritize growth above climate shift, delivered on his promise after independent senators with deciding votes in the upper house sided with his conservative bloc, the report said.

Without matching emissions policies in other industrialized countries, Abbott said earlier the tax was an unfair shackle on Australian companies and individuals, unequaled except in Europe, where an emissions market has operated since 2005.

Labor and Green opponents of the government said the repeal would make the country an international “pariah” amid global efforts to combat climate change, the report said.

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