Australia Implements Controversial Carbon Tax
In a bid to slow down climate change, Australia introduced a carbon tax on Monday intended to reduce emissions. While some people, such as Prime Minister Julia Gillard, applauded the move, others are worried that it will hurt businesses.
"Our nation's been involved in a debate now for many long years about putting a price on carbon and tackling climate change, and we have got this done," Gillard told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "Yes, with a fixed price, a carbon tax if you like for the first three years, and then with an emissions trading scheme to follow."
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The tax will mean the 350 top polluters in the country will have to pay $23 AUD (23.50 USD) for every ton of carbon they produce. The government hopes the tax will reduce the amount of carbon emissions by 159 million tons by 2020 -- the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the road.
However, the tax has been met with staunch opposition, and conservatives have vowed to repeal the tax if they are elected in 2013.
"(The carbon tax) is the slow boa constrictor sapping life out of one business after another," opposition lawmaker Warren Truss, leader of the Nationals, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
However, Gillard said conservatives would have a difficult time repealing the measure.
"As a Labor government, we haven't done all of this for no reason, we've done it because we believe it's pivotal to Australia's future," she told the ABC program 'Insiders.' "Today is a Sunday where Australians will go about their ordinary lives, but today is day too when we seize the future, we seize a clean energy future."
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