climate change basics: A price on pollution


A Price on Pollution  (from the ACF website)

Putting a price on the pollution generated by big business is the most economic way to reduce pollution and help tackle climate change.

A price on pollution

After 37 years of campaigning for action on climate change, laws to put a price on carbon pollution passed through Australia’s parliament in 2011, and came into effect July 2012.

Whether you call it a carbon price, a carbon tax, an emissions trading scheme (ETS) or a price on pollution, it’s all about reducing pollution.

Australians want action on climate change. Over 90% of Australians think that pollution is at unsafe levels for our kids, with 97% of climate scientists agreeing on the fact that climate change is caused by human activity.

We know that pollution is contributing to climate change and loads of us are doing our bit to cut energy use at home, but unfortunately carbon pollution levels are still increasing. The truth is big businesses are responsible for the majority of pollution going into our skies. It’s now time for them to do their bit and cut emissions.

How a price on pollution works

The clean energy package means that big polluters pay the cost of their pollution, not individual taxpayers. A carbon price is an incentive to cut pollution and innovate. The pollution price will be paid by Australia’s top 500 polluting businesses.

These 500 businesses will pay $23 per tonne of carbon pollution they put into our skies. If they pollute, they pay. But, if they reduce their pollution by cleaning up their processes and using cleaner energy, then they will pay less and save money.

What happens to the money raised from charging big polluters? Some will go straight into clean energy and some will go to people to help with bills. Low income households and pensioners should be better off. Middle income families will be no worse off. Find out how the carbon price will affect your cost of living or calculate your carbon price.

There’ll be jobs, a lot of jobs according to our research, cleaning up existing industries and building new ones. And Australia will shift to more clean energy, like solar and wind, that lasts forever.

Cleaner air will mean better health for our kids, the elderly, everyone. And finally, we are doing something about climate change.

I have always bet on Australia. I love the country, I love the people, and I particularly love the spirit that motivates the activists and all those who have supported action to solve the climate crisis – Al Gore

We said Yes to a price on pollution

Say Yes Australia was a broad and historic partnership of organisations collectively representing over three million Australians, including workers, youth and families, who support putting a price on pollution. The campaign engaged the community to Say Yes to a price on carbon pollution and encouraged our parliament to do the same.

What next?

In 2012 we worked to ensure the price on pollution and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation were successfully implemented. We continue to support our community, showing our leaders we want ongoing action on climate change.

What we achieved

More information

We’ve put together a detailed analysis of the price on pollution and a step-by-step guide to how it works. Find out the answers to these questions:

  • How will the price on pollution affect me?
  • What about electricity prices?
  • What about Australian jobs?
  • Are we acting ahead of the rest of the world?
  • Where will the money go?
  • Will this actually help the environment?
  • How will this solve climate change?

How you can support action on climate change


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