The government of Australia imposed carbon tax on major polluters of this country earlier this year. The aim of this tax was to reduce carbon emissions in the environment and also to think innovatively in this regard so that businesses could operate in an environment friendly way. The aim of the Australian government is to reduce the harmful carbon emissions by 5% in next 8 years and by 80% thirty year later by 2050. For what seems like a simple tax is not as simple with the political skin on. The opposition of the government is greatly reacting to the tax along with a considerable number in the general public too, fearing the loos of jobs and a larger cost of living in general as well. This paper discusses the concept behind introducing the carbon tax in Australia, along with reaction of the government and the public, and the opinion of the environmentalists. Though the intentions of the government may not be harsh for the public, this tax issue may end up being an expensive gamble for the government, threatening its leadership in the 2013 elections. Background
Carbon tax is a kind of carbon pricing which is imposed on the carbon contents of different sorts of fuels. Since science has proved the presence of carbon in all types of hydrocarbon fuel, it is also proven that CO2 (Carbon dioxide) is released when any of these fuels are burnt. Carbon dioxide is considered to be a greenhouse gas that traps heat. Over the years, scientists have showed concerns regarding the effects of releasing such gases in the atmosphere. The omissions released in the atmosphere when fuels are burnt are closely related the presence of carbon tax in those gases, a tax is imposed on such emissions depending on the carbon content of the said fossil fuels at any instant in the product life cycle of these fuels. To resolve a lot of issues caused due to the emissions in the atmosphere, carbon taxes are considered to be pretty cost effective if imposed properly. Many countries around the world have imposed such taxes that relate directly to the carbon content present in the fuels being burnt. Most of these taxes are also not directly imposed on carbon dioxide emissions, rather are more environmentally related taxes which affect directly on emissions of greenhouse gases and are imposed on other products in this areas, for instance motor vehicles etc (Rourke, 2012). Interestingly there has been a lot of resistance against such regulations supporting environmental safety since it is argued that instead on reducing such activities, many companies may relocate their set ups causing loss of jobs for many individuals. Others also argue that this is a cost effective way to control such issues and if laws and regulations are followed properly, many new jobs can actually be created and may lead to higher employment rate otherwise too. Though regardless of all the arguments, many countries that use carbon resources largely in activities such as generation of electricity resist tax impositions on carbon. USA, China and Russia are three of the most famous countries arguing against such regulations. Many countries have had to implement carbon as well as energy related taxes as a response to the commitments of these countries under the framework of United Nations Convention on Climate Change. For the maximum cases, wherever the carbon tax is implemented, it is implemented with a combination of different exemptions. As of Australia’s carbon tax is concerned, it is aimed directly all major emitters of the carbon dioxide gas. These emitters are the top five hundred polluters in Australia. The tax is directly aimed at them for the reason that these polluters are expected to have such capabilities for capital investments that the technology is improved and there is a reduction in the creation of carbon to protect the environment. Controversies behind Australian Carbon Tax
The bitter political...