Originally published in Yale Environment 360 on December 12, 2011

The Australian government will begin imposing a tax on carbon emissions in mid-2012. But large giveaways to industry mean Australia’s scheme doesn’t go nearly far enough in reducing the nation’s CO2 emissions or providing economic stimulus. Another global climate conference has come and gone with little action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which makes efforts to combat climate change at the national or local level all the more important. After years of bitter debate and haggling, we in Australia last month finally decided to follow Europe in putting a price on carbon. Unfortunately, Australia’s plan, like Europe’s, gave away far too much to major emitters of CO2 and does far too little to reduce emissions, aiming for a 5 percent cut in carbon by 2020, with uncertainty as to how deep the cuts may be beyond then.

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