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Australia to institute a carbon tax

July 10, 2011 at 8:29 AM   |   Comments

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CANBERRA, Australia, July 10 (UPI) -- Australia's plan to start taxing manufacturers for their production of carbon will increase consumer prices about 1 percent, officials said.

Under the carbon tax plan proposed by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Sunday, a household's cost of living will jump by about $10 weekly, with electricity prices climbing about 10 percent, or $3.30 weekly, The Australian reported.

"It's socialism masquerading as environmentalism," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said.

Under Gillard's plan, Australia would reduce its carbon emissions by 159 million tons annually from the atmosphere by 2020.

"That is the equivalent of taking over 45 million cars off the road," Gillard said.

The BBC said carbon dioxide emissions would be taxed at $25 per ton, starting in 2012. Australia is one of the world's worst emitters of greenhouse gas per person.

The burning of coal generates about 80 percent of Australia's electricity.

"As a nation, we need to put a price on carbon and create a clean energy future," Gillard said at a news conference in Canberra. "Australian's want to do the right thing by the environment."

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