Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Putting a Price on Carbon


Experts answer questions about the carbon trading scheme announced by the Australian government.

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Which countries have set a carbon price, and is Australia leading the way or catching up?
Our trading partners, including the European Union, China, Korea and Japan, and a number of states of the US, are pricing or are moving to price carbon. They are doing this by various policy measures including regulation, subsidies on consumption of non-carbon-polluting technologies such as solar PV panels, subsidies on the production of non-carbon-polluting technologies, subsidies on research and development related to green technologies, and pricing schemes such as a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme (ETS).

For Australian industry to remain competitive, we also need to be pricing carbon. The real question is: what type of policy will move the carbon price in Australia as quickly as possible to international carbon price levels? This is a critical question because Australia risks getting left behind in the international marketplace unless our carbon price quickly moves to international price levels.

Many countries have used a combination of the above policies. The real question for each country, including Australia, is what is the appropriate policy to move the country into a world of new, non-carbon-polluting technologies, and keep the country competitive in an environment in which all of our major trading partners are pricing carbon.


The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.