World Bulletin / News Desk
Australia will scrap its planned floor price for carbon emissions and will link directly with the European Union's emissions trading scheme by 2018, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said on Tuesday.
Australia, one of the world's highest per capita emitters of pollutants blamed for causing climate change, imposed a fixed A$23 ($23.88) per tonne carbon tax on around 300 of its biggest polluting companies in July, covering around 60 percent of emissions.
The A$15 floor price was due to underpin the scheme when it moved to a floating emissions trading scheme in July 2015.
The cut to the floor price is the first major change to Australia's controversial plan to price carbon following concerns from businesses facing higher costs than in Europe.
"Linking the Australian and European Union systems reaffirms that carbon markets are the prime vehicle for tackling climate change and the most efficient means of achieving emissions reductions," Combet said in a joint statement with European Commission for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.
The move means business in Australia will be able to use EU allowances to cover Australian liabilities from July 2015 but European companies will have to wait until 2018 to use Australian allowances.
Combet said business had made it clear they wanted more flexibility on the carbon price once Australia moves to a trading scheme.
"At the end of the day, I think this is the best public policy outcome," Combet told reporters, adding Australia was continuing negotiations on linking its scheme with New Zealand's emissions trading scheme.
In contrast to the Australian prices, carbon permits in the European Union are currently trading around 8.16 euros a tonne ($10).
Combet said Australia would also impose a new limit on the use of eligible Kyoto units. Companies will still be able to meet up to 50 percent of liabilities with international units, but will only be allowed to meet 12.5 percent of liabilities with U.N. backed Kyoto units.
The price on carbon emissions is Australia's key policy to fight greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming. Australia is one of the world's highest per capita emitters due to a reliance on coal-fired power stations.
Administrator touts success in planetary study, deep-space experiments, aviation innovation
A man left brain-dead after an experimental drug trial in France has died, local media report.
Facebook founder to donate majority of fortune over lifetime to newly formed charity
Facebook will appeal a date privacy ruling in Belgium that forces the social media giant to stop collecting digital information about people who are non-members
Japanese, Chinese, Irish scientists win 2015 Nobel prize in medicine for malaria and parasite research
Discovery could have major implications for pursuit of life on the red planet
Lawsuit sheds light on no poaching policy at Silicon Valley’s biggest companies
Searches for oncoming storms will display information such as maps, forecasts, reminders and preparedness instructions
New service unveiled as survey finds Americans having hard time navigating smartphone etiquette
Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea bid total of over €1.14 billion for the right to use frequencies on the new network
Petition 'will present at least two substantial questions concerning design-patent liability and damages'
The Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company plans to launch one solar-powered bus on Thursday and several more in the coming days
Roughly 70 million tonnes of fibres are traded globally per year, but nearly two thirds are made from non-renewable products like petroleum and natural gas.
Researchers havfe said that the flaw leaves data stored by apps vulnerable with almost every category of app considered vulnerable
SpaceX revealed Monday that it is building a test track for the Hyperloop, a concept for ultra-fast ground transport the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, unveiled.
Biologists have created chicken embryos with dinosaur-like faces by tinkering with the molecules that build the birds' beaks.