European Union ETS historical prices

Australian government puts ETS on the agenda

Before the 2010 federal election, the Australian government decided to defer the introduction of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and its associated Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) until the end of 2012, when the current Kyoto commitment period ends.

The Gillard government has now put an ETS back on the agenda, with a proposed start date of 2014 for a market based cap and trade ETS. The ETS would be preceded by a "fixed price" charge for carbon pollution, more commonly known as a carbon tax. The amount of the planned tax has not been announced by the government, and speculation is that it could be between $20 and $25 per tonne. Professor Garnaut, whose influential report has shaped the start of the carbon debate, has suggested that an amount of up to $30 a tonne would be justified.

The government will need the support of the minority parties to pass the necessary legislation to set up the carbon tax and the ETS, and the final structure of both mechanisms is therefore far from certain. An important component of the final scheme will be how Australian households and businesses are compensated for the additional costs that are expected to flow through via higher electricity and fuel prices.

News: the Government will announce its proposed design for a carbon tax, Emissions Trading Scheme, and compensation system on Sunday 10 July.

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