Dow head: Australia carbon tax 'ill-timed'

July 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, July 8 (UPI) -- An Australian carbon-tax initiative is ill-timed and threatens investment in the country, a member of President Obama's new committee on manufacturing says.

Darwin-born Andrew Liveris, who is head of the $54 billion company Dow Chemical, thinks Australia's price signal on carbon trading fails to take into account that fossil fuels will continue to be the dominant source of energy, The Australian reported Friday.

Liveris' remarks come as the Australian government prepares to unveil full details of its carbon tax program, including a final price estimated at between $20 and $25 per ton.

Liveris says the government's decision to push ahead with a carbon tax before moving to a floating price cap-and-trade scheme in three years is ill-timed.

Liveris urges policymakers to think more broadly about lowering emissions.

"The problem with carbon pricing in isolation is that Australia will be on its own in doing this and it may end up becoming a very difficult place for people to come and invest in," he said.

"The wise carbon policy of today is less about a price signal to the market, less about a tax to the market and more about putting in place uniform standards on efficiency."

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