Emissions trading schemes

Placing a price on carbon is the most effective single measure government’s can take to reduce emissions. Pricing carbon essentially creates a financial incentive for businesses and government to reduce emissions and increase carbon abatement in their decision-making and investment.

In Australia, a carbon price was introduced by the Gillard Government in 2011. While the Clean Energy Act 2011 had its critics, under the scheme carbon emissions and power prices dropped while the economy grew. After it was repealed in 2014, these trends went into reverse. A price on carbon is not anti-competitive but a key element of an effective, stable policy environment to guide business and industry as we transition from fossil fuels. In Australia, a national carbon price is supported by the Business Council of Australia.

Carbon pricing in Canada, the UK and the EU and elsewhere has proved to be highly effective in driving the transition from fossil fuels.

Carbon Fee and Dividend schemes provide one method of carbon pricing, in which net revenue collected is returned directly to every citizen through ‘dividend’ payments. In this way, citizens are reimbursed to offset the extra costs on their activities caused by a carbon price. Such plans have been introduced effectively in British Columbia and are before congress in the US. Read about a similar proposal for Australia.

What you can do:

  • support the work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia
  • lobby our representatives in Canberra to follow the advice of the Business Council of Australia and re-introduce a climate price

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