Greens propose interim carbon tax

The Australian Greens continue their attempts to inject some common sense into the climate change debate. Yesterday they launched a proposal for a two-year carbon tax to start in July 2010 to begin the shift towards a zero carbon economy while a longer-term policy is sorted out.

The tax will be $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide at 2005 dollars, adjusted for inflation. The Greens estimate that this will raise $20 billion over the two years, half of which will be distributed to low-income households, $4 billion would go to trade exposed emissions intensive industries, $2.5 billion to tackling climate change in developing countries and around $1 billion to an Australian climate change action fund. Unlike Labor Party policy and in line with the Garnaut Review, there is no money for coal-fired generators.

While this proposal certainly does not go far enough with regards to how fast and how deeply we must cut emissions if Australia is to play its part globally in avoiding catastrophic climate change, it is at least a step in the right direction. So far the proposals from the Rudd Government only served to lock in business as usual and corporate welfare at the taxpayers’ expense.

For more detail on the proposal click here.