1 July 2012
Australian emissions trading scheme starts
Australia on Sunday joined the European Union and New Zealand in putting a price on carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power stations, smelters, to airlines and to local councils as part of a global effort to fight climate change, writes Reuters.
Industrial smoke stack in Brisbane Harbor. © Pniesen
The scheme will cover about 60 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas pollution with the aim of pushing Australians to use cleaner energy and for industry and households to be more efficient in a country dependent on coal for electricity.
The transformation of the energy sector is forecast to drive around AUD100 billion in investment in the renewables sector over the period to 2050, the government says.
A Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been created to invest AUD10 billion into the commercialization of renewable energy and energy.
A Clean Technology Program worth AUD1.2 billion will give grants for manufacturers to install new equipment to save energy costs and cut pollution.
Australia accounts for 1.5 percent of global emissions, but is the developed world's highest emitter per-capita because coal is used to generate about 80 percent of electricity.
Australia's scheme could be joined by trading programs in South Korea and China by 2015 or 2016.
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