News Desk

A CLIMATE DIVIDEND FOR AUSTRALIA

The Australian Climate Dividend & carbon pricing in the media

Oct 23-29, 2021

  • Mike Seccombe, national correspondent

The biggest way in which Morrison’s “technology, not taxes” line is deceptive is that it pretends our taxes are not already funding the government’s modest efforts at reducing emissions. When it abolished Labor’s carbon price, the Abbott government substituted a regime by which polluters are paid to pollute less. Variants of the scheme have gone by various names – Direct Action, the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Climate Solutions Fund – and the government has spent billions on it.


The most succinct and cynical description of the shift from Gillard’s carbon-pricing scheme to the current model was given to the ABC’s business editor, Ian Verrender, by an unnamed government minister a few years back.

“The difference between Labor’s policy and ours is that Julia Gillard introduced a scheme where big polluters paid Australian taxpayers,” the minister said. “Tony changed it so that Australian taxpayers pay big polluters.”

Oct 21, 2021

  • Mike Seccombe, national correspondent

As we live and breathe, U.S. Democrats are currently developing a proposal for something called a “carbon tax”.

Years before China started knocking back mountains of our soiled recycled plastic, long before they started locking out our diplomats, the Gillard Government conceived the Clean Energy Bill in 2011, a world-first to establish a price on carbon.


In 2014, just two short years after its introduction, the Coalition followed up on its election promise and hailed the demise of the “useless, destructive, carbon tax”, gleefully celebrating in both houses of Parliament. This was all achieved with the full support of the mining giants and the major polluters, seeded by the media in the howling gale of tabloid subjectivity, whipping up the bulldust over everything.


Scott Morrison has played key roles in an era of climate policy revocation and revisionism. From the repeal of the carbon tax to the scuttling of the national energy guarantee, Morrison has not been afraid to stretch this historically crucial imperative for subjective political gain.


If the Coalition hadn’t repealed the Clean Energy Act, we would have had ten years of experience putting people to work in green jobs, in green industries, allowing our youth and workers to think big in those spaces. As early adopters of a carbon tax, we could have led the world as we have often done, before the small ideas and revocations from a decade of Coalition revisionism. What a wasted opportunity Australians have witnessed.

Oct 21, 2021

  • David Mills, National Environment Reporter

Hosted by News Corp journalist Joe Hildebrand, the forum did not shy away from some controversial topics, with both “blue carbon” entrepreneur Mark Carnegie and Nicky Ison from WWF Australia among the panelists who suggested a price on carbon will be necessary in order to reach net zero.

Oct 21, 2021
  • Anthony Galloway, foreign affairs & national security correspondent

Tony Wood, director of the Grattan Institute’s energy program, said Australia committing to net zero was an “important first step” but it would not be enough to escape Europe’s carbon border tariffs. He said further measures would be needed to create an effective price on carbon.


If we commit to net zero, we can say we’re now in the entrance gate – we just haven’t decided whether we’re in first class or the boondocks,” he said.

The Age
Oct 11, 2021
  • Latika Bourke, journalist

‘I was wrong on climate change’ - In 2007, Kevin Rudd swept Labor to its last majority victory. Luntz had a ringside seat, working in Australia conducting focus groups for Sky News and News Corp.

Rudd was elected to deliver an emissions trading scheme, but the campaign waged against it by Tony Abbott, who reversed Coalition support for a carbon price, contributed to the downfall of four prime ministers, including Abbott, and the government’s reluctance thus far to sign up to net-zero reduction targets ahead of the global climate negotiations next month.

Abbott relied heavily on the work of Luntz to destroy political support for a carbon price; in 2001, Luntz advised George W. Bush to refer to global warming as climate change.

“I was trying to say the science wasn’t settled – prove it,” Luntz says. He says this is now his biggest regret.

News.com.au
Oct 11, 2021
  • Charis Chang, senior reporter

The Federal Government is also looking at recommendations from the Energy Security Board on what the electricity market should look like post-2025, with potential plans for what critics have described as “CoalKeeper”. Energy Minister Angus Taylor released a plan in late August that will pay generators to be available to turn on, even if they don’t provide any electricity, potentially rewarding them for providing capacity even when it’s not needed.

Greens leader Adam Bandt described the plan as an “expensive, dirty scam” that would force households to pay up to $430 a year to big power companies so that coal could stay in the system for longer. “With the world’s scientists demanding we get out of coal and gas, the Liberals’ CoalKeeper scheme forces up people’s power bills, locks in fossil fuels and makes climate change worse.

“The public should not be subsidising coal and gas,” Mr Bandt said. “Scott Morrison’s latest coal subsidy will cost households two to three times more than the carbon price ever did, but unlike that world-leading scheme, pollution will go up and public money will line the pockets of big coal corporations.”

The Age
Oct 8, 2021
  • Ross Gittins, Economic Editor

As many of us now realise, we wouldn’t be trembling in our boots over the enormity of getting our emissions down to net zero by 2050 – and making big strides long before then – had we not abolished after only two years the perfectly good carbon pricing scheme the Gillard government introduced in 2012.

But almost all economists recommend using a carbon price to decarbonise the economy also because they think it’s the policy instrument likely to achieve the objective with the least disruption to the economy and least loss of growth in the production of goods and services.

That’s what economists really mean when they say a carbon price is the cheapest way to get to net zero. They know that sufficiently large changes in relative prices will change people’s use of fossil fuels.

The Fifth Estate

Oct 6, 2021

  • Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor, School of Science, Griffith University

ABC

From 2026, the European Union will apply border charges to carbon-intensive goods from countries such as Australia without a carbon price or a 2050 net-zero emissions target. Other nations are considering similar measures.

Oct 6, 2021
  • Tony Moore, senior reporter

“On climate change, the party supports a carbon price”, said Lyn Allison, the new president of the Australian Democrats, former parliamentary leader and senator.

Oct 5, 2021
  • Bevan Shields

Alok Sharma, the president of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, framed Morrison’s participation as a test of Australia’s friendship with Britain, warning the ravages of global warming cannot be avoided unless world leaders make Glasgow their top priority.


Asked whether it was possible to achieve net-zero emissions without a price on carbon – which Morrison and Albanese are opposed to – Sharma stressed the international landscape was shifting rapidly.


“I mean, even China now has an emissions trading scheme,” he said. “It is internationally acknowledged that countries are going to have to domestically and internationally address the whole issue of carbon pricing and carbon leakage – every country will have to get there.

“And so my advice to any country is to start to think about this now.”

Oct 4, 2021
  • Zac Crellin, reporter


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an organisation comprising of 38 countries, including Australia.

It’s not known for diehard environmentalism, but it has nevertheless criticised Australia’s climate change policies over the years.


“The least-cost approach to meeting these emission targets would involve an economy-wide carbon price,” the organisation said in a report in September.

Oct 3, 2021
  • Ross Gittins, Economic Editor

You see, too, why economists believe that prices – particularly changes in them – are the great incentive for people to change their behaviour. You want to decarbonise the economy? Put a price on carbon emissions.

Wait for market forces to stop global warming, and you’ll wait forever, decimating the economy in the process.

Oct 2-8, 2021

  • John Hewson, professor at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and former Liberal opposition leader

Indeed, they mount the case that it’s pointless for us to do anything about emissions when China is such a big emitter. This tired argument is merely an excuse for consistently doing nothing and taking no position. It deliberately ignores just how much the Chinese are actually doing in response to the climate challenge – such as pricing carbon in major industrial centres, accelerating the electrification of the vehicle fleet, and moving beyond coal. Most recently, China has committed to pulling back on its investments in new coal-fired power projects in the developing world, under the auspices of the Belt and Road Initiative.


If the Morrison government is at all serious about a commitment to net zero, Morrison needs to begin by telling the truth about exactly where we sit relative to our carbon budget and what transition possibilities will give us the emissions reductions we need. He will not be able to get away with accounting tricks. As an economist, I have to back the most cost-effective transition strategy: putting a price on carbon and making the polluters pay.

Sept 26, 2021
  • Harley Dennett

With the Coalition government’s two parties negotiating terms for a commitment to reaching net zero carbon emission by 2050, a new report from the Grattan Institute says farmers should not be exempt.


The report by the institute’s Tony Wood - Towards net zero: Practical policies to reduce agricultural emissions - shows that the agriculture sector was responsible for 15 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, emitting 76.5 million tonnes.


“Net zero by 2050 is a tough target and the climate clock is ticking. An economy-wide carbon price would be the best policy, but we can’t wait around for that.”

Sept 24, 2021
  • Tom Dusevic

As well, the biannual report provided a nudge for Australia to adopt a market mechanism and a net-zero emissions target by 2050. Setting a “time-bound net zero emissions” objective would help boost investment in the transition towards a clean energy future.


“While politically challenging, implementing broadbased carbon pricing, along with measures to mitigate transition risks for impacted industries and regions, would be the most effective way to achieve emissions reductions and complement the investment strategy,” the IMF said.

Sept 21, 2021
  • Hannah Wootton


According to the latest Financial Review reader poll, readers largely rejected the federal government’s “technology not taxes” approach to tackling climate change, saying it did not go far enough to reduce carbon emissions.

One called the policy stance “an embarrassment”, with another warning that the approach meant Australia would suffer economically for lagging other developed countries in taking climate action.

“The federal government has lost a decade in not being able to formulate an energy policy that business has now embraced, and we will pay the price in the global markets for inaction,” they said.

Another accused the government of “playing Russian roulette with our future” and several called for a price on carbon.

“Technology will be important but taxes on carbon emissions should play a major role,” one said.

Crikey
Sept 21, 2021
  • Richard Holden


In the topsy-turvy world that has been our politics over the past decade and a half, we were one of the first countries to put a price on carbon, then removed it, and now have a government that has tied itself to the slogan “technology not taxes”. And we have a Labor opposition so burnt by its recent history that it can’t bring itself to talk about a price on carbon.


But a funny thing happened on the way to Glasgow. After the Trump administration backed out of the Paris Agreement, Europe decided it would contemplate a “border adjustment tax” on carbon. If implemented it would mean goods exported from countries without a price on carbon similar to Europe’s would have those goods taxed upon entry, levelling the playing field between European companies paying a carbon tax and companies from countries that don’t.


Europe’s big, but by itself that idea didn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Then Joe Biden — running on a serious climate action and jobs agenda — was elected president of the US. A natural thing for the US to do is to also introduce a carbon border tax. That would put it and Europe on a level playing field.

It’s pretty easy to see how this unravels so that Japan, South Korea, and a host of other countries in Latin America and elsewhere end up following suit.


If most of our trading partners have a carbon border tax, Australia will either have to enact a price on carbon or have a price on carbon anyway — but only for our exporters.

Worse still, Australia has little credibility on climate change with the international community. We have removed our internal price on carbon (don’t be hoodwinked that the so-called safeguard mechanism is the same thing).

Sept 15, 2021
  • Terry McCrann


Under the heading “Climate change policy needs to be strengthened” – oh yeah? - the OECD wants us to commit to net zero 2050 carbon (sic) emissions.

And what’s the best way to get there? “A national carbon price (otherwise known as a carbon tax) would be the most efficient means of achieving this.”

Sept 11-17, 2021
  • John Hewson

The most difficult policy resistance and intransigence, however, is on climate change. The science is irrefutable. It is widely peer-assessed and agreed by more than 90 per cent of climate scientists. There is very strong and widespread community support for action as revealed in almost every recent poll or survey, by statements made by major industry and civil society groups and many of our key institutions.


But the essential climate change transition to more low-carbon activities and processes is stalled in this country. It has recently been complicated by government commitments to fund new gas-fired power generation and hints of new coal-fired power stations. This comes after decades of denial and misrepresentation on the significance and urgency of the issue and the disruption of the carbon pricing system, which could have been the most cost-effective response to climate.

The Age
Sep 9, 2021
  • Editorial

The Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and company boardrooms around the country, including those in the mining industry, have taken up the cause of climate change mitigation. They support the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050. They have also supported the need for a market-based carbon price to drive investment in low and no-emissions technology.

Sep 6, 2021
  • Lisa Davies, The Herald Editor

They have also supported the need for a market-based carbon price to drive investment in low and no-emissions technology.

ABC
Sep 5, 2021
  • Kath Sullivan, national rural reporter
  • EU Ambassador to Australia Michael Pulch told Landline that regional communities in Europe are adjusting to a de-carbonised economy and there are opportunities for rural Australians to benefit too.

  • Dr Pulch also said Australia could take a more positive approach to Europe’s climate policies, including its decision to implement tariffs on heavy carbon emitters under its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

  • “For instance, if carbon price and carbon use is so important, Australia will have a competitive advantage if it uses its renewable industry to produce in the sectors that are targeted by our CBAM policy which is iron ore, steel, cement, fertiliser, aluminium, and electricity.”

ABC
Sep 2, 2021
  • Eric Campbell, foreign correspondent

Unlike Australia, where lobby groups have pushed to expand coal production, Spanish corporations have embraced the change. Angeles Santamaria, CEO of the energy giant Iberdrola, says there is not a single coal project in the world she would invest in.


Australia has shielded its domestic industry from such pressure by scrapping the carbon pricing scheme in 2014. But seven years later, pressure is building from outside our borders.


For all the challenges of transition, Spain sees itself as being on the right side of history. It’s hoping the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in November will make life easier for countries embracing a green future - and harder for countries clinging to Old King Coal.

Aug 26, 2021
  • Charlotte Grieve

ASX-listed Australian Ethical’s head of research Stuart Palmer said these geopolitical shifts exposed Australia’s heavy emitters to rising risks, and predicted valuations of pure-play fossil fuel producers could slide even before a carbon price is introduced on their exports.


“People fall into the trap of thinking ‘well a carbon price isn’t going to get legislated tomorrow or next month’,” he said. “But markets react to changing sentiment about the expectation of a carbon price.

“If people start thinking ‘I can see a significant carbon price in the next few years’, that completely changes the way they value these projects and existing assets of these companies,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be implemented for tomorrow for the market sentiment to shift, and for that to have a massive impact.”

Aug 26, 2021
  • EDO

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) clients, Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action (BSCA) is celebrating today’s ruling from the NSW Land and Environment Court that the NSW Environment Protection Authority has a duty to take serious action on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.


“This is a very significant legal decision,” EDO Director of Legal Strategy Elaine Johnson said. “This is the first time an Australian court has ruled on a government agency failing to perform a statutory duty to address climate change.”


“As our lead environmental regulator, the EPA has the power to take immediate action on climate change, for example, by putting a price on carbon, or requiring industry to reduce emissions to safe levels through the licences. Now, the EPA has been ordered to take action.”

Aug 26, 2021
  • The AFR View

With the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) long dead, the most influential policies are the renewable subsidies offered by the states. But the states’ push on renewables without the pull of an emissions policy such as a price on carbon is akin to accelerating and braking at the same time, says one energy industry expert.

Aug 26, 2021
  • Peter Hannam and Miki Perkins

In a landmark ruling, a NSW court has ordered the state’s environmental watchdog to take action to address climate change.

In a judgment on Thursday, Chief Judge of the Land & Environment Court Brian Preston ordered the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) “to develop environmental quality objectives, guidelines and policies to ensure environment protection from climate change”.

While Justice Preston did not specify the action the agency should take, the steps could range from putting a price on carbon to placing caps on pollution or setting safe levels in pollution licences, Elaine Johnson, a director of EDO’s legal strategy, said.

Australian National University
Aug 25, 2021
  • Frank Jotzo and David Lindenmayer

There are two ways Australia can avoid a carbon tariff on agriculture exports. First, agriculture can adopt cleaner production methods and have its goods certified as produced with low emissions. Second, the federal government can implement a comprehensive emissions-reduction policy, which in agriculture might mean minimum production standards to avoid high emissions practices or a carbon price where practicable.

Aug 23, 2021
  • Ross Gittins, Economic commentator

For getting to net zero emissions by 2050, Tony Wood and his team at the Grattan Institute begin where everyone with any sense begins: by noting that the best way to reduce emissions at minimum cost to the economy - and all the people in it - would be to introduce a single, economy-wide price on carbon emissions.

ABC
Aug 17, 2021
  • Ian Verrender

As well as encouraging the federal government to fight for fair treatment of Australian exporters, the report also highlights the need for net zero emissions by 2050 for local industries to remain competitive.

Mr Merzian says the relatively low and slow cost to Australian exporters also was not an excuse for the federal government not to introduce an ETS policy of its own: “It’s like the worst-designed Australian carbon border tax because the revenue goes elsewhere. The shape of the tax goes elsewhere.

“And ultimately, we’re left paying without any of the real reinvestment integrating up our economy. So our competitors will only become more competitive,” he says.

The Guardian
Aug 17, 2021
  • Sarah Martin, Chief Political correspondent

Following the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last week, Essential also gauged voter views on the risks arising from climate change.

About two-thirds (63%) said they would support the introduction of a carbon emission levy on high carbon emitting industries – such as the price signal abolished by Tony Abbott when he came to power in 2013 – including 54% of Coalition voters.



Aug 16, 2021
  • Biwa Kwan

Mr Dunlop, a former CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, said the work by Australian universities, NGOs and think tanks showed a number of measures could be implemented, including a carbon tax and a shift away from fossil fuels: “Climate is in the same situation [than Covid]. But the threat is far far greater. We need to stop playing games with this, and start getting serious with the way we approach it.”

Aug 13, 2021
  • Craig Emerson

Australian coal workers and businesses face a difficult future. Europe and other jurisdictions are moving towards taxing goods from nations without strong carbon price mechanisms. Investors are shunning coal and, increasingly, gas.


Showing up in Glasgow, in the glare of the world’s cameras, with nothing in his show bag will inevitably see Morrison cast as a laggard and a freeloader.

Granted, the Prime Minister might be able to pivot that into a nativist retort: Australia won’t be lectured to by foreigners. But that’s a strategy that ultimately misses the opportunities for Australia, richly endowed with natural resources and renewable energy options.

The Age
Aug 12, 2021
  • Waleed Aly

Waleed Aly (The Age): “Morrison can spruik “technology, not taxes” as his policy, but if this happens, we’ll be paying a carbon tax. It just means other countries will be getting the money. Little wonder Australia stamped its feet when the European Union announced a proposal to do exactly this.

Protectionism!’ we shout, promising to take our case to the World Trade Organisation. But these tariffs aren’t designed to give local producers an advantage. They’re designed to level the playing field, so that companies in countries who are paying a carbon price can compete with overseas companies who aren’t.

The Fifth Estate



Aug 12, 2021
  • The Fifth Estate


Part of the economic story is we need to resolve the “carbon tax” issue and get the right carbon market mechanisms in place, many of which are still there, John Connor says, chief executive of the Carbon Markets Institute.

“They’re remnants of the removal of the Gillard [government] pricing mechanism, but we have the structures there. It’s an evolution not a revolution. And we need to get back in the game.”

But right now, he says, we’ve got this “phoney war” of whether we call it carbon pricing or not, he says. But the $2 billion spent on the carbon reduction fund is public money, right?

Stockhead
Aug 11, 2021
  • Josh Chiat

One of the world’s biggest energy companies, BP, says a new report shows green hydrogen production from renewable energy sources would be technically feasible in WA.


Electrolyser capacity is ramping up across the world, especially in China, which will help quadruple capacity on 2020 levels by 2022. But becoming cost competitive with other fuel sources will arguably be a bigger challenge, which some experts believe may require a significant global price on carbon.

Australian Leisure Management
Aug 10, 2021
  • Karen Sweaney

Associate Professor Ancev notes that imposing a price on carbon is a cost-effective way to reduce emissions. Numerous countries around the world, such as the EU member states, Canada, New Zealand, parts of the US, and now China use this method of emissions reduction. This has led to significant reduction of carbon emissions in these jurisdictions, especially in the EU, where carbon pricing via a tradable permit scheme has been in operation since 2005.


“COVID-19 pandemic is a small challenge compared to climate change, and if we are going to address it to avoid an even bigger future crises, we can’t go at it without having a carbon price,” adds Associate Professor Ancev.

9 News
Aug 9, 2021
  • Rachel Baxter

Pressure is mounting on the Federal Government to raise its climate targets as the world’s largest-ever report into global warming reveals a chilling future.

“We really need to boost our ambition, take advantage of the carbon markets, the carbon pricing and our technology that we have right now,” Carbon Market Institute CEO John Connor told 9News.

Aug 9, 2021
  • Craig Emerson

This country does have a carbon price, which business is using. And it’s the key to success after the Glasgow climate summit.


While all the government manoeuvring takes place, private financiers are increasingly refusing to invest in new fossil-fuel projects. Businesses are imputing a high carbon price in their cash-flow analyses of investment proposals. And businesses, including farmers, are finding ways of making money out of carbon storage.


Rather than trying to replace markets, governments should state their policy ambitions clearly and harness the power of markets to reduce carbon emissions quickly and decisively.

Aug 8, 2021
  • Michael West

The Minister for Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, even pours fuel on the fire by presiding over emission increases, reassuring us that any climate issues will be solved with “technology not taxes”.

This ignores the fact that for these technologies to work at scale, and in the short time now available, taxes in the form of carbon pricing are essential otherwise the massive subsidy enjoyed by fossil fuels, by not accounting for the damage caused by their use, will continue, markedly slowing the transition to a low-carbon future.

Aug 5, 2021
  • Michael Mazenbarg

In Australia, the Morrison government has adopted a ‘technology not taxes’ approach to climate policy, saying that by focusing government resources on a selection of handpicked priority technologies, it may be able to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without imposing a price on carbon.


In a new research paper, published in the academic journal Nature, researchers from Europe, the UK and Australia challenge the presumption that wealthier nations can continue to chase uninterrupted economic growth while maintaining a realistic chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.


The researchers argue that technology alone will not be enough to address climate change – rebutting the rhetoric of the Morrison government’s preferred ‘technology not taxes’ approach.

Aug 5, 2021
  • Angela Macdonald-Smith

Investment in the supply of hydrogen has soared this year but its future as a major source of clean energy is far from certain, with carbon prices of at least $AU135.44 ($US100) a tonne needed by 2030 to drive large-scale demand.


The findings reflect the broad view of several of Australia’s aspiring developers of large-scale green hydrogen production plants that significant export demand for the fuel is still several years away.




Aug 5, 2021
  • Poppy Johnston



Global Head of Responsible Investment at Cbus Super, Nicole Bradford, points to a pertinent May 2021 report from the International Energy Agency, a global body funded by industry, that maps the global energy transition to net zero emissions by 2050 under different scenarios.

The key takeaway from the report was that no new oil, gas or thermal coal developments are needed to transition the economy.

It’s about applying climate risk metrics to decision making, which means considering the price on carbon, the ability of the asset to genuinely transition and the prospect of alternatives.



July 29, 2021
  • James Hennessy

There’s been a lot going on recently, but climate change has still been happening regardless. A return to pre-pandemic carbon dioxide emissions shows “it’s business as usual”, said University of Sydney senior lecturer Dr Thomas Newsome.


As co-author of a new report, Newsome says Australia must participate in a radical rethink of the global economy to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. The lack of a hard carbon price has “isolated us from the rest of the world”, he argues.



July 28, 2021
  • David Adams

University of Sydney senior lecturer Dr Thomas Newsome, a co-author of the new report, said the lack of a hard carbon price has “isolated us from the rest of the world”.


The group has highlighted three-short term goals to shape a climate-friendly economy: the introduction of a global carbon price, the permanent transition away from fossil fuels, and a suite of safeguards to protect biodiversity.

July 28, 2021
  • Dr Thomas Newsome



Dr Newsome and co-authors, led by Professor William Ripple and Dr Christopher Wolf from Oregon State University, lay out their climate update in a paper published today in BioScience.

The research team calls for a “three-pronged near-term policy approach”, including:

  • a globally implemented carbon price;

  • a phase-out and eventual ban of fossil fuels; and

  • strategic environmental reserves to safeguard and restore natural carbon sinks and biodiversity.

July 26, 2021
  • Ian Verrender

The EU has announced its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism threatening to create a domino effect as the US has also made a similar proposition and Canada, Japan and the UK are considering to follow suit. The impact of a US carbon border tax adjustment on Chinese imports will have great repercussions on the Australian economy.


Carbon pricing has been recognised as the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions since 1980s by economists. The effect of enacting a carbon price in Australia between 2012 and 2014 had a clear impact. The prospect of spreading border adjustments might force the government to rethink the ideology behind the toxic climate wars that repelled carbon pricing.

July 22, 2021
  • Callum Foote

Shortly after the EU carbon border tax declaration, the US has proposed a carbon border scheme, more are likely to follow. The prospect of Japan to enable its own mechanism would threaten $40 billion of resources exports annually and make Australia even more dependent on China's importations.

July 8, 2021
  • Mike Foley

The corporate community is racing ahead of Australian climate policy, creating a de-facto price for greenhouse gas emissions despite the federal government’s insistence that a carbon price is a damaging tax on business. Corporate commitments to reach net zero emissions is driving Australia’s carbon market up to 20$ a tonne and could rise to 50$ by 2030.

June 16, 2021
  • Nick O'Malley

Within the coming weeks the EU is set to reveal details of its planned ‘Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism’ designed to make sure its local industry is not undercut by un-carbon constrained offshore competition - in other words, a border tariff.

Even before the G7 made its weekend statement the United States, Japan and South Korea had made it clear they were considering similar measures.

China is in the process of developing a carbon price, and hardly appears likely to cut Australia any trade slack.

But it won’t come as any surprise to anyone who has been watching the growing global consensus that carbon must be priced.

May 25, 2021
  • Peter Hannam

The Lowy Institute’s 2021 climate poll reveals that 64 per cent of Australians said they would back either a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. Among respondents aged 18-44 per cent, the support for a carbon price was 71 per cent, while 57 per cent of those over 45 backed such a policy.

May 8, 2021
  • John Durie
  • John Connor, Carbon Market Institute Chief executive

Australia has already the bases needed to establish a carbon price through the Emission Reduction Fund. The policy is currently limited by a weak safeguard mechanism and is relying on federal funding. With the proper reinforcement of its policy, Australia can enable a market driven carbon price that provide a clear pathway to decarbonise the economy and drive investments

May 9, 2021
  • Jessica Sier

Government-enacted carbon pricing schemes are widely accepted as the most efficient methods to decarbonise an economy.



May 8, 2021
  • John Durie

According to carbon project developer James Schultz The best way to solve the most complex issues like the environment is to put them on a balance sheet If we want to change behaviour we need to put a price on it.

Apr 26, 2021
  • Jacob Greber

US President Joe Biden is raising the pressure at an international climate summit, stating the US will consider a carbon border tax adjustment as part of its climate package. The EU is also preparing a similar scheme with an introduction planned in 2023.

The US also pushed their climate ambition forward with a target to cut emissions by 50% by 2030.

Apr 25, 2021
  • Rod Taylor


The Australian Climate Dividend (ACD) would create an incentive for businesses to reduce costs while also lowering emissions. Research from UNSW, indicate that at $50 per tonne, the average household income would financially be $600 better off, and the bottom 20 per cent of households would be over $1200 better off per year. More of the reason to enable a climate fee and dividend.

Apr 20, 2021
  • Andy Park and Alex McDonald

Former chair of the Australia Coal Association, Ian Dunlop, claims that regulations will have greater value than the market alone. In his words, “... you don't let sewage flow down the street. You price that, you stop people doing it, you regulate against it. We haven't done that with carbon which we should have done.”

Apr 11, 2021

Price signals, such as a revenue-neutral carbon price, are needed to encourage investment in low or zero emissions technologies efficiently. It will provide businesses certainty they need.

Apr 6, 2021
  • Alan Kohler


Without having anything remotely similar to carbon pricing, it would set the country back further in reaching net zero emissions.

Mar 31, 2021
  • Jessica Irvine, Senior economics writer

From an economist point of view, a carbon price is needed to offset the negative externalities of carbon emissions that are done onto the environment. Australia may have stopped trying to set a carbon price on emissions, but other countries did not, and they are now beginning to impose carbon tariffs on countries who do not have similar policies or committing to net zero emissions by 2050. The pressure for Australia to incorporate a carbon price may soon be inevitable.

Mar 22, 2021
  • Alan Shwartz

The Technology Investment Roadmap provides little incentives for businesses to decrease their carbon emissions. The determination to invest in low-carbon innovations is diminished when emitting carbon is free. A price on carbon would encourage investment in low carbon innovations and technologies that will bring Australia closer to reaching net zero emissions.

Mar 11, 2021
  • Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW

Australia needs an orderly and predictable energy transition, from coal-fired power stations to renewables, and that will require a carbon price.

It will also create a fair dynamic playing field for “green” energy compared to fossil fuels and reflect the social cost of greenhouse gases emissions.


Dec 2, 2020
  • Rebecca Gredley

Carbon pricing is expected to be the key policy proposed by China in order to achieve its 2060 net zero emission target. Laura Cozzi, Chief energy modeller of the International Energy Agency, and her team has had meetings with Chinese ministers to establish the government emission reduction plan.




Nov 26, 2020
  • Poppy Johnston



Carbon pricing has successfully pushed coal out of the energy mix in the EU and will be able to kick start the switch to green hydrogen if increased. European success and drive in reducing emissions has started by establishing clear targets. The Climate Change Bill proposed by independent MP Zali Steggall with its economy-wide 2050 net zero target if established will help follow European achievements.

Nov 16, 2020
  • Dr Rohan Best, Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Macquarie Business School

The NSW electricity infrastructure roadmap has been delivered. It aims to drive up private investment in clean energy by developing three Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in regional areas. The plan is good in the short term to provide the certainty the market need. To increase investments further in the long term, national policy such as a carbon price will a more efficient and effective way.

Nov 15, 2020
  • Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW


An Australian Dividend Plan, proposed by law professor Rosalind Dixon and Richard Holden, puts a fee on emissions that will be redistributed equally to each voting-age citizen. This would provide a substantial number of Australians being financially wealthier. This would also provide a transition to deliver low-emissions technology to promote cleaner energy and stimulate our economy.

Nov 13, 2020
  • Richard Holden, professor of economics at UNSW Sydney

A carbon border tax is coming our way with the European Union having already announced it is considering a carbon border adjustment. It is also part of the US Climate Leadership Council’s proposal for a “carbon dividend”.

There is a better way: enact our own carbon dividend plan. It would also give the Australian government’s Technology Investment Roadmap (to accelerate the use of low-emissions technology) a chance of working.

Oct 22, 2020
  • Gilbert E. Metcalf, John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service and a Professor of Economics at Tufts University, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a University Fellow at Resources For The Future
  • James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and member of the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School.



Deductive analysis of a carbon tax indicate there is no contrary effects on GDP growth and employment. This was taken from a statistical analysis of carbon tax practices around the globe that have been implemented in the early 90s. Furthermore, the potential of a 6.5 percent decline in emissions is eminent with a carbon tax of $40 on accruing carbon dioxide emissions.

Sep 26, 2020
  • Frank Jotzo, contributor & professor at the Australian National University's Crawford School of Public Policy

What is needed is government policy to drive private sector investment. Putting a price on emissions is and will remain the best way, especially in industry. If uptake of carbon capture and storage (CCS) were an important goal, then strong price signals or direct regulation would be needed. CCS cannot become “competitive” without policy, because it is an additional process with extra cost purely for the sake of reducing emissions.

Sep 24, 2020
  • John Hewson, columnist and former Liberal opposition leader

A genuine, independent, market-based, emissions trading scheme that puts a market value on these carbon credits would give the technology roadmap the substance that it lacks. It would do much to define the transition pathways to the imperative of a low-carbon Australia by mid-century.

Sep 24, 2020
  • John Hewson, columnist and former Liberal opposition leader

Solar and wind are already "mature" technologies, are significantly cheaper and offer lower or negligible emissions. A carbon price would not only accelerate the closure of existing, ageing coal and gas generators but would also make it indefensible to contemplate building new ones if government wants to ensure "cheap power".

Sep 24, 2020
  • Llewelyn Hughes, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
  • Jorrit Gosens, Research Fellow, Australian National University

The International Monetary Fund estimates Australia provides tens of billions of dollars in subsidies annually to support fossil fuels. The government’s economic recovery plan from the COVID-19 downturn involves subsidies for the gas industry. And the absence of a carbon price in Australia – which would force CO₂ producers to pay for their pollution – is effectively another fossil fuel subsidy.

Sep 4, 2020
  • Frank Jotzo, Director, Australian National University
  • Paul Burke, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

The message to governments is that carbon pricing almost certainly works, and typically to great effect. While a well-designed approach to reducing emissions would include other complementary policies such as regulations in some sectors and support for low-carbon research and development, carbon pricing should ideally be the centrepiece of the effort.

It should be remembered that Australia’s two-year experiment with carbon pricing delivered emissions reductions as the economy grew. It was working as designed.

Sep 2, 2020
  • Sue Richardson at the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

Putting a price on carbon is a proven and efficient way to reduce emissions and would complement the technology push by allowing the market to find, and pay for, the best value solutions. At the most basic level, paying a price for the release of greenhouse gases is really no different from paying for other waste removal from our homes and factories, which we already do.

Sep 1, 2020
  • Paul Burke, Associate Professor, Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Frank Jotzo, Director, Australian National University's Center for Climate and Energy Policy
  • Rohan Best, Economist, Macquarie University





From an economic theory, placing a price on carbon emissions would result in a reduction in emissions. At least that’s been the case when analysing 43 countries over a span of twenty years that had some form of a carbon price. These countries had a trend of around two percentage points lower than counties without having a price on carbon. Economic organisation from around the world, counting the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, support the use of carbon pricing.

Aug 13, 2020
  • Paul Burke, Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Frank Jotzo, Director at the Australian National University's Center for Climate and Energy Policy
  • Rohan Best, Economist at Macquarie University

A collective analysed two decades worth of data from 142 countries, and out of the 43 countries had a form of a carbon price. Countries with a carbon price resulted in a 2 percent decrease on carbon dioxide emissions per year between 2007-2017. Whereas the other countries without a carbon price, had a 3 percent increase per year in carbon dioxide emissions.

Jul 15, 2020
  • Mike Foley, climate and energy correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

From a study that observed 30 countries with a carbon price between 2007-2017, resulted in a 2 percent decrease on carbon dioxide emissions per year. That is a 20 percent decrease within a decade, and at the same rate it can result in a 45 percent decrease by 2050.

Jul 15, 2020
  • Blake Matich, writer and journalist with international experience covering politics, culture, the arts and most recently the solar PV industry


Australian Energy Council Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara claims the first step to meet carbon emissions reduction, is to have a long-term target. Setting a target would construct the specific policies and mechanism needed to get there, but carbon pricing should be considered the focus on reducing emission level on a market economy. As researchers from Australian National University and Macquarie University have suggested carbon pricing does reduce emissions.

Jul 14, 2020
  • Paul Burke, Associate Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
  • Frank Jotzo, Director, Centre for Climate and Energy Policy, Australian National University
  • Rohan Best, Lecturer in Economics, Macquarie University

Carbon pricing policy is regarded popular in other governments, such as Britain and Germany. Dr Rohan Best of Macquarie University, Associate Professor Paul Burke, and Professor Jotzo of Australian National University paper indicates carbon pricing is efficient to reduce emissions. Australia’s experiment with carbon pricing for two years had an emission reduction while growing its economy.

July 14, 2020
  • Andrew Tillett, Political correspondent

Pricing carbon emissions drives bigger falls in greenhouse gas emissions than in economies that have not embraced a similar policy approach, according to a comparison of 142 countries.

Researchers are urging policymakers to re-evaluate their decision to dump carbon pricing, finding carbon dioxide emissions fell on average by 2 per cent per year in countries with some form of a carbon price.

Updated Jul 14, 2020
  • Biwa Kwan




The constant tug-o-war on climate policy has stalled Australia from placing a proper carbon price. A study of 142 nations shows that countries with a carbon price have observed a reduction of their emissions. The countries that didn't adopt have seen emissions increased.


With a proper political narrative and community buy in, a carbon price could be reinstated in Australia.

May 18, 2020
  • Adam Morton, environment editor

Martin Parkinson, a former secretary of Treasury and the now defunct climate change department, said it was incorrect to categorise carbon pricing as being “about taxing people”. “The carbon price is actually about creating the right sort of incentives to develop the technology and then use it,” he said.

May 2, 2020
  • Max Opray

For Shahana McKenzie, the chief executive of Bioenergy Australia, we can increase progress on developing bioenergy by implementing the right economic incentives such as a carbon price.


Feb 26, 2020
  • Tony Wood, Program Director at Energy, Grattan Institute

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese sought to claim the climate policy high ground last week with his commitment to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

But figures on Australia’s emissions from the Department of the Environment and Energy help frame the political debate, and put the policies of both Labor and the Coalition in context.

Feb 3, 2020
  • Rosalind Dixon, professor of law at UNSW and director of the Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law
  • Richard Holden, professor of economics at UNSW Sydney

The Australian Carbon Dividend Plan is not just an economically and environmentally viable response to the challenge of climate change. The evidence suggests that it is a politically viable solution.

Jul 26, 2019
  • John Kehoe, Senior Writer

Dr. Martin Parkinson, had originally been head of the Department of Climate Change, was Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, is a renowned economist states that putting a price a carbon would have been a cheaper way to reduce energy prices.

Jul 18, 2019

An interview with NAB Chair Ken Henry, believes this generation of business leaders will drive the market to 100% renewable energy in the near future, and shareholders would back business leaders based on what is best for the community. In due time, with enough support, the debate on carbon pricing would be brought up as policy remediation without heated discussion. Emissions will go down with cleaner energy, but it would better with a carbon a price.

Jul 10, 2019
  • James Fernyhough, Reporter

Westpac’s head of sustainability, Micheal Chen who is a also notable to the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI), states the necessity of the federal government for imposing a carbon price in order to mitigate the threat of a financial frisk from climate change. This also supported by other global Central banks and regulators indicating climate change is a financial risk. A secured stable economic system with an environmental agenda needs the federal government’s involvement.

May 30, 2019
  • Mark Ludlow, Queensland bureau chief
  • Angela Macdonald-Smith, Senior resources writer

Business leaders affirmed they had a duty to prepare for the financial risks associated with climate change and the need for carbon policy certainty.

ExxonMobil Australia chairman Nathan Fay said carbon pricing is the simplest and easiest way to reach our Paris climate commitments.

May 22, 2019
  • Linda Mottram, Reporter



Reintroducing the carbon tax is inevitable, according to ANU's Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Warwick McKibbin, and in doing so it would drive innovation and incentives growth.

May 20, 2019
  • Eleanor Hall, Interviewer




Chief executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Melinda Cilento, says that business leaders are speaking out to the federal government on the benefits of setting a carbon price. Having the conversation open about a carbon price is key into getting what is best for Australia.

Apr 11, 2019
  • RMIT ABC Fact Check




The carbon tax introduced in 2012 has produced a sharp declined of emissions. After its repeal of the in 2014, emission levels had increased again. By 2018, Australia had emitted 534 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. It was estimated that by 2020 Australia could emit 540 million tonnes. For Australia to meet its second Kyoto target, emissions would have to 524 million tonnes in 2020.

Feb 27, 2019
  • Peter Milne, Business Reporter

The chair of Shell Australia, Zoe Yujnovich, has affirmed that Australia needs to set a price on carbon as soon as possible. Government has the role of encouraging and implementing a carbon price.

Dec 16, 2018
  • Rod Taylor

A carbon fee and dividend is simple and provides fairness. Achieving a high carbon price is doable with a dividend. By placing a higher carbon price overtime, the dividend will provide a larger compensation in return for lower-income households that use less carbon emitting goods and services. This provides an incentive to lower carbon intensive products.

Nov 23, 2018
  • Ross Gittins, Economics Editor

The point of “putting a price on carbon” is to “internalise the externality”. To get it into the prices charged and paid by private sellers and buyers. Why? To give them a monetary incentive to find ways to reduce the social cost their polluting activity is imposing on us.

In the absence of a carbon price, polluting coal-fired electricity has an undesirable price advantage over non-polluting renewables electricity. This is the economic justification for government subsidy schemes for renewables electricity and household solar power systems.

If we introduced their Robin Hood carbon tax, those subsidies would no longer be needed, saving governments (and often, other power users) about $2.5 billion a year.

Nov 21, 2018
  • UNSW Media

Economics Professor Richard Holden and Law Professor Rosalind Dixon from UNSW released a developed profound policy tackling climate change. The Australian Climate Dividend Plan (ACDP) sets to tax carbon emissions, then returning the revenue to Australians citizens that are of voting age. Australian citizens have the potential of seeing a tax-free payment of roughly $1,300 par year.

Nov 21, 2018
  • Rosalind Dixon, professor of law at UNSW and director of the Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law
  • Richard Holden, professor of economics at UNSW Sydney

Today, as part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Inequality, a study entitled A Climate Dividend for Australians was released that offers a practical solution to the twin problems of climate change and energy affordability.

It’s a serious, market-based approach to address climate change through a carbon tax, but it would also leave around three-quarters of Australians financially better off.

It is the sort of policy that politicians who believe in both the realities of climate change as well as the power and benefits of markets ought to support.

Nov 14, 2018
  • David Twomey, Editor of EcoNews

Woodside’s chief executive, Peter Coleman, calls for Australia to present carbon pricing. Coleman further expresses that its about time for Woodside to step up and for industry to do the same. BHP shared a report that a “market-based carbon price could minimise the costs of a low carbon transition by making clear the marginal cost of reducing emissions across all sources”. Rio Tinto boss Jean Sebastien Jacques, confirmed his stance to support carbon pricing.

Nov 7, 2018
  • Nadia Daly




Co-founder of software company Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, has created a movement to push forward policy suggestions around renewable energy. The first one would be to is to put in place a carbon price.

Feb 26, 2018
  • Ian A. MacKenzie, Senior Lecturer in Economics, The University of Queensland


Australia's main climate policy, the Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) efficiency is under scrutiny. The fund has failed to deliver the promised emissions reduction at great expense of taxpayers’ money.With the ERF fund almost empty, it is time to embrace a new policy that incentivizes cleaner technologies in a transparent in a cost-effective way.

A simple, economy-wide carbon tax would be more transparent than the current mechanism, under which individual firms can plead for leniency. If we want to reduce pollution in a cost-effective way that actually works, then we must (re-)establish a carbon price.

Oct 22, 2018
  • Nick Tuscano, Business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

BHP’s head of sustainability and climate change, Fiona Wild, describes Australia and the world being accountable for climate change, and calls for a price on carbon to drive the development of low-cost emissions technologies. BHP, one of the largest miners in the world, has been supportive of setting a price on carbon for several years. Stronger actions and policies are needed to limit global warming temperatures to 1.5 degree, as warned by the IPCC.

Updated Feb 22, 2018
  • James Elton-Pym

Australia setting a carbon tax would promote lowering emissions and energy prices. The CEO of BHP Billiton, Andrew McKenzie, calls for Australia to adopt a carbon tax. This signifies as an example onto other industries to call on a policy that would lower the level of emissions.

Apr 10, 2017
  • Heath Aston, environment, energy and corporate correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Younger Nationals have rejected federal leadership decision to not support a carbon trading scheme. Young Nationals are concerned about the impacts on renewable energy investments needed to ensure energy security and affordability.

Jul 8, 2014
  • Australian Economists

A group open letter coming from a range of economists consider putting a price on carbon that would be economically efficient and able to reduce carbon emissions. Providing evidence that many of Australia’s trading partners are adopting climate change measures, only makes sense that it is time for Australia to do the same.