The repeal of the carbon tax will reportedly reduce household electricity bills by up to 50c per day, but is the long-term cost worth it? Rohan Salmond reports.
Bucking global trends, Australia became the first nation to repeal its carbon price legislation when bills cleared the Senate in July.
In a joint media release, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said, “Scrapping the carbon tax will take a cost burden off Australian businesses. It will make it easier for them to compete and create more jobs.
“The carbon tax was a $9 billion a year hit on the Australian economy. Australian businesses either had to absorb the costs or pass it on to consumers.”
A July 2014 Australian National University report found household electricity prices rose by an average of 10 per cent under the tax, but it was effective in reducing Australia’s national carbon emissions.
According to the report, “The combined impact attributable to the carbon price is estimated as a reduction of between 5 and 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions (3.2 to 5 per cent) in 2012/13 and between 6 and 9 million tonnes (3.5 to 5.6 per cent) in 2013/14.”
The Uniting Church in Queensland Uniting Green Liaison Bruce Mullan said, “I believe we have lost any entitlement to have a credible voice in the international conversation about climate change strategy.
“Although only responsible for a small percentage of global carbon emissions, Australia has by far the highest emissions per capita of any country. What a terrible example we set for the rest of the world.
“Our responsibility is not just to ourselves but also to our near neighbours in the low-lying atolls of Tuvalu and Kiribati and to the millions worldwide who will be displaced or whose lives will be put at risk because of climate change.
“In our first Statement to the Nation, the Uniting Church in Australia said, ‘We are concerned with the basic human rights of future generations and will urge the wise use of energy, the protection of the environment and the replenishment of the earth’s resources for their use and enjoyment.’ I hope we can hold ourselves to that bold and visionary commitment and encourage our nation to do likewise.