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August 09, 2011
Investor Group Supports Australian Carbon Tax
    by Robert Kropp

The Investor Group on Climate Change argues that industry opponents to the proposed tax of $25 per ton of carbon emissions have issued "misleading or mistaken" statements.

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors with over $600 billion in funds under management, announced last week that it has written to companies opposing a carbon tax in Australia, expressing its concern over "misleading or mistaken" statements.

IGCC stated that companies behind campaign exaggerated the cost to industry by failing to note that transitional assistance will be provided in the form of carbon credits covering more than 90% of carbon emissions for Australia's 500 heaviest emitters.

IGCC also stated, "The campaign misrepresents the importance of action by highly emitting, developed economies such as Australia to reduce their emissions. To avoid the economic consequences of dangerous climate change, all major economies must take substantial steps to reduce emissions."

When she announced the carbon tax last month, Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated, "We generate more carbon pollution per head than any other country in the developed world. We've got a lot of work to do to hold our place in the race that the world is running." Eighty percent of Australia's electricity comes from coal; the country is also one of the world's leading exporters of coal.

Scheduled to take effect in July 2012, the plan would initially require the country's 500 heaviest emitters to pay $25 per ton of carbon emissions, which, the Prime Minister said, will reduce Australia carbon emissions by 160 million tons within a decade.

In addition to compensating companies for some of the cost of the carbon tax, the plan will provide income tax benefits to most households to offset the higher cost of electricity.

According to IGCC, a price on carbon "is the right approach for Australia regardless of the policy approach of other countries."


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