01.Government carbon commitment short on detail
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to implement a carbon price in Australia from 1 July 2012. The government’s plan proposes a carbon price in two phases – a fixed price for the first three-to-five years, followed by a transition to an emissions trading scheme.
CHOICE cautiously welcomes the government’s announcement because a market-based carbon price is the least-cost effective way of tackling climate change, and studies show the sooner we act, the lower the cost. The government’s framework will also provide more certainty for the energy sector, which is important for consumers because the main factor pushing up electricity bills is the massive cost of upgrading Australia’s electricity networks.
The key details of the carbon scheme are yet to come, including the starting price and compensation arrangements for households and industry. The crucial issue for consumers will be the final mix of industry compensation versus household assistance, ensuring households don’t carry the burden for polluters.
CHOICE also believes the introduction of a carbon price must include significant measures to help households invest in energy efficiency and reduce their bills, and we will be campaigning to ensure this is the case. Read CHOICE policy officer's Matt Levey's blog.