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Reducing CO2 without a Carbon Tax & Increasing Government Revenue!

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    I am doing everything possible to reduce my carbon emissions but I dont support the governments Carbon Tax (CT). Taxing Australian manufactures will only make low wage higher carbon imported products cheaper than decent wage lower carbon Australian made products thus increasing imports, increasing carbon emissions, decreasing Australian manufactured goods and making the whole situation worse.

    What I am doing to actually & effectively reduce my carbon emissions is growing my own organic food, using a gas fueled car sparingly, and switching to green grid power as well generating my own solar power. Growing my own food reduces transport miles, sequesters carbon and increases my self reliance. My gas fueled car produces less carbon emissions and green power / home solar generation does the same. Why as a country doesn’t the PM encourage this?

    If the government encouraged/mandated Australian grown food by actively supporting our farmers & food producers then our food imports would decrease thus reducing food miles & carbon emissions. Supporting organic producers would be even better. In addition by encouraging/mandating gas powered cars we would reduce the need & reliance on imported petrol which would reduce carbon emissions, make our city air less toxic, and better utilise our natural abundance of gas. Both of these things would achieve huge cuts in carbon emissions, improve our balance of trade, increase government revenue, and improve our self reliance without the need for a carbon tax and the childish political battles. Going solar would do the same.

    In addition the PM says the CT is a prelude to a Cap & Trade Scheme but a C&TS wont decrease carbon emissions below 1990 levels either because as the population grows the carbon cap will have to rise so we a back where we started.

    Am I correct in my objections to a CT? What else can I do to reduce my carbon emissions and what are you all doing to reduce atmospheric CO2?


    If I pay my $800+ carbon tax does that mean I can pollute as much as I want??

    I dont see any tax break for trying not to produce carbon.


    Pixieb, you yourself wont have to pay a CT. The proposed CT is on Australian producers & manufacturers that produce & release high amounts of CO2 such as car manufacturers, coal fired electricity generators, transport companies etc. They then pass on the added cost to the consumer (you & me) thus increasing the cost of living. The problem with this approach is it still allows high carbon imports to flood Australia ‘cos there cheaper. In addition the government is proposing tax relief for lower income earners so it does not encourage them, or anyone, to actually reduce there emissions but enables them to better afford cheap high carbon imports.


    I agree with Porgey – the carbon tax can simply add another reason for people not to buy local goods.

    I think the best taxes are those placed on consumption, rather than production. The GST for example – if you want to avoid it, simply buy less. An effective carbon tax could be similar – higher road charges for large engine cars, rates based on house size rather than land size and so on.

    Having said that – if the carbon tax helps, however imperfect, it’s better than nothing.


    Porgey if everyone thought like you ( and we do ) I agree a CT wouldnt be necessary

    but the average consumer just is NOT willing to cut down on anything 🙁 they consider buying stuff and using power as their right …….. so the only way to cut carbon produced is to tax it

    I am sure a CT will not effect us hardly at all and we are pensioners…….


    IF something has to be done to reduce CO2 emissions the proposed CT wont work. simonussher is closer to a better way of taxing carbon emissions by taxing carbon at the consumer level but itemising the CO2 footprint of every consumer item would be impossible.

    Of course another way of taxing to reduce CO2 is an import tax on everything. This would reduce huge emissions from transport and high carbon practices from OS. Australia could be totally self sufficient with very little need to import anything and that is the best way to reduce CO2- SELF SUFFICIENCY.

    ggang, as a pensioner many consumer items will rise in price under the proposed tax but you will get a pension increase to help with this price rise. That may sound nice but it doesn’t help or force you to reduce CO2 but in fact puts more dollars in your pocket to buy cheaper priced high carbon imported products.


    This new tax is just that a new tax… I don’t really believe the pollies when they say that we need it… (we could then again we could not… who knows the truth in this matter… how can you/who can trust a pollie??? Thi situation could be handled in other ways..) … Most people I talk with say it’s just another way of balancing the books, it’s not going to mean a thing for the common folk, as usual we will have to pay… Big business won’t absorb anything they only look at their bottom line any increases will be met by the consumer…

    If this was recommended by a commission headed by, say, Dick Smith then I might think we are headed in the right direction but anything that either government puts forward is received with suspicion by most…


    ok now, I am one of the ones who is for the carbon tax so please be worned or please stop reading.

    that being said, I do take my hat off to you for all the things and ways you are doing to reduce but it is because most people are not like you that we are where we are today. The piont of the tax is a first step to start off a reaction of actions. you start with the tax, this is meant to stop people using so much, when this happens the big companies should start to look and act into more surstainable means of producing there product. this in turn makes the new ways cheeper and more avalable to the everyday person. this will then reduce our(as a planet)co2 output.

    So if the coal fired plants charge more because they are being taxed, people will use less. this should couse them to put time and money into solar and wind, which then brings down the price of panals so more poeple can aford them therefore reducing still the amount of energy needed to be produced and the hole time reduceing co2.

    yes this is going to be hard but we do need to start looking at these problems in terms of long term and not just the next few years. All this being said, I do agree with the system but do think $30 is a rather big first step, and think that starting at say $15 for the frist few years and then raising it would be a better way for people to ajust to it. But for all we know this is what might happen yet as there has been no exact plan out yet.


    Ok. First up, I am very much for a price on carbon. I was at the pro carbon tax rally in Sydney yesterday. I feel it is absolutely essential.


    Because most people don’t think like us. Most people have no idea, and frankly don’t give a rats about how much carbon they emit. All they care about is getting stuff cheap.

    A carbon tax, even though it is levied on the emitters (industry), will act like a consumption tax as industry will pass the costs on to consumers. By pricing carbon you drive up the price of goods that emit carbon during their manufacture. If they cost more, people will buy less. The most effective way to get people to cut down on smoking it to raise the price of cigarettes. Same with carbon.

    There are legitimate concerns about carbon leakage – industry moving off shore to escape the carbon price. These fears are largely unfounded as most developed and developing economies are instituting a carbon price. Our major trading partner – China already has an effective price on carbon of A$14/tome. This will rise to over A$30/tone under their next 5 year economic plan. Europe has a carbon price. India will have one soon. If we don’t, all those other countries are within their rights under the WTO to slap a carbon import duty on Australian goods and services equivalent to their local price. This will drive up the cost of Australian exports and seriously disadvantage our industry far more than the cost of a local carbon price. Only Australia and the USA are holding out.

    There are also legitimate concerns about a cap and trade scheme and whether it will turn into a free for all for the banks and trading houses. I share those concerns and an uncomfortable with cap and trade. I would much prefer to see a straight carbon tax starting at A$30/t and increasing to around A$120/t within 15 years. Having said that though, cap and trade worked extremely well for CFCS in the 90s and sulphur emissions in the 70s and 80s. So cap and trade does have a good pedigree. I still can’t help wondering whether we would see some kind of sub prime carbon derivatives though so to me a tax is the cleanest way forward.

    The other advantage with a tax is that the revenue is collected by government who can then use that revenue to compensate those worst affected (I know.. it means trusting government which goes against the grain). I know I can afford $1000/year or thereabouts. When we really look into things, by consuming a little less, most of us can. Seriously, most people could save that just on their poweer bills by using appliances efficiently and not leaving things on stanbdby. I do work as an energy consultant and I have saved people over $2k on their yearly power bills doing things like that. Its really not a big deal for most people.

    A lot of what we spend is discretionary spending – non essential items. There are those however whose spending in non-discretionary – those on a fixed income like pensioners and those on low incomes. Those are the ones that will need compensation.

    Other measures are useful. Thinks like subsidies for renewables and loan guarantees for green industry. But these will be needed in addition to a carbon price. Not instead of. They can’t do the job on their own. To reduce carbon we need to price it to encourage people to use less of it.

    Anyway, my 2c worth seems to have turned into a few $ worth so I’ll leave it there.




    Diane and Airgead, I read your posts and am in agreeance with what I read my only problem with it is that the goverment is going to handle it (which is why they are there I know!!) snd it will be chopped and changed and increased and promises broken and and and… We will all be paying and as usual not get any real value while we all slowly go down the toilet anyway with most of the population thinking it’s going to be alright because of this new tax…


    Yes a carbon tax will increase prices of Australian made goods & services. This then makes cheap higher carbon imports more affordable. So we have a new tax, locally made prices increase, imports become more affordable so we import more thus we have increased carbon emissions amongst other things. In addition if we compensate lower income earners how will this reduce there carbon emissions?


    Then of course there is the science about climate change & human influence but thats another debate.


    porgey post=308742 wrote: Yes a carbon tax will increase prices of Australian made goods & services. This then makes cheap higher carbon imports more affordable. So we have a new tax, locally made prices increase, imports become more affordable so we import more thus we have increased carbon emissions amongst other things. In addition if we compensate lower income earners how will this reduce there carbon emissions?


    Then of course there is the science about climate change & human influence but thats another debate.

    Valid concerns but the issue of carbon leakage is addressed in these schemes by the imposition of a carbon duty on goods imported from countries without a carbon price of their own. Likewise, if we don’t have a carbon price, our exports will incur a carbon duty from those countries that do.

    Not having a carbon price will hurt our industry far more than not having one will. As I said, even China has a carbon price already and under their next 5 year economic plan will increase this price to around A$30/t. If we don’t have a comparable price, all our exports to china (iron ore, minerals, coal, gas etc) will have a $30/t carbon import duty slapped on them by the Chinese.

    A carbon price by its self will not be enough but it is a vital part of the transition to a low carbon economy.

    I think the real problem here is that they call it a carbon tax. People hate taxes. People will never, ever support a new tax no matter how much economic sense it makes. Lets call it a carbon emission industry levy instead. That’s exactly what it is. Its a levy on industries that emit a pollutant. Exactly the same sort of levies are imposed on industries that emit other pollutants – sulphur, phosphorus, CFCs and any other environmental damaging industrial waste. I think this name change would see most of the opposition suddenly evaporate.

    Carbon needs to be treated like any other industrial waste and the polluters need to pay for the privilege to pollute.




    People hate tax, but people love avoiding tax:

    Dodge the tax; Save your power

    Every time you switch off at the wall you send a raspberry to Canberra.

    Light bulbs? No way: they’re just more money for the government.

    I’m a money launderer; I wash in cold water.

    This is fun.



    Airgead, I completely understand your argument. BUT if wages & conditions in other countries are lower then there products will be cheaper so imports increase and carbon emissions rise.

    Taxes can work well if targeted correctly but the proposed CT is so blunt it wont work.

    If the government mandated that all new residential cars run on gas, for example, then petrol imports would decrease, locally refined gas usage would rise, carbon emissions would fall, government revenue would increase and our balance of trade would improve. Taxing UNNECESSARY food imports and encouraging local organic food production would do the same.

    Ahning, love your work.


    porgey post=308749 wrote: Airgead, I completely understand your argument. BUT if wages & conditions in other countries are lower then there products will be cheaper so imports increase and carbon emissions rise.


    Disparity in wages is a completely separate topic. A very important one but separate. As is the massive undervaluation of the Chinese currency which is what is really fuelling the Chinese export boom.

    Carbon price or not, we have higher wages than china. This is why we pretty much don’t have a manufacturing industry any more. We export raw materials and import finished products from low wage countries. That will happen regardless of a carbon price.

    As I said before, China and India have both recognised the need to cut carbon emissions. China’s most current 5 year economic plan includes a significant reduction in carbon emissions per unit of economic production achieved in part with a carbon price (ahh the delights of a centrally planned economy.. it makes things so easy).

    In short, the Chinese get it and we don’t. If we don’t put in a carbon price, our exports will be taxed by those counties that do which will hurt our industry far more than a local carbon price.

    Wage disparity is a serious issue but a separate one to carbon pricing.



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