Aussie Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Fiddles While Australia's Energy Security Burns. Note this is a satirical photoshopped image.

The Australian Carbon Tax is Back

Essay by Eric Worrall

Carbon tax round 2 – After claiming in 2020 a carbon tax is no longer needed, Australia’s Prime Minister Albanese has decided to offer top emitters an “opportunity” to pay a $75 / ton carbon price, with the aim of bringing down emissions 5% every year, to achieve the government’s 43% reduction by 2030 target.

Carbon price capped at $75, but will rise with inflation

John Kehoe Economics editor

Updated Jan 10, 2023 – 3.40pm,first published at 2.07pmSaveShare

Big industrial emitters have been offered a carbon price cap starting at $75 a tonne that will rise with inflation to give business certainty about the maximum compliance costs of the Albanese government’s decarbonisation plan.

More than 200 of the country’s biggest industrial emitters will need to cut emissions by an average of almost 5 per cent each year to 2030, to help the government meet its 43 per cent reduction target.

The reformed carbon plan for industrial emitters, proposed by Energy and Climate Minister Chris Bowen on Tuesday, provides support to trade-exposed businesses and regions for decarbonisation via $600 million earmarked from the $1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund.

The government has compromised between setting site-specific emission caps and industry-average benchmarks, settling on a hybrid approach.

“Baselines would be heavily weighted towards site-specific levels at scheme commencement, and transition to industry average benchmarks by 2030,” the government’s position paper says.

Read more (paywalled):

Back in 2020, in the leadup to the 2022 election, Albanese claimed a carbon price is no longer needed.

I guess he changed his mind.

Carbon price no longer needed: Albanese

By Katie Burgess
Updated June 24 2020 – 5:06pm, first published 4:15pm

However Mr Albanese told the Press Club a price on carbon was no longer necessary. 

“The thing about where we were in 2007 … is that renewables at that time needed support in terms of a market-based mechanism. The fact is that the cheapest form of new energy in this country [today] is renewables. It’s solar and wind. The circumstances have changed. 

“Renewables today are looking for a different framework. So if you ask are we going back to the old system, the answer to that is no. We’re looking forward, not backwards. And we’re looking forward at a mechanism that will drive that change through the economy.”

Read more:

A recent government commissioned report upheld the integrity of the nation’s carbon credit market.

Carbon credit scheme review rejects criticisms it is flawed, recommends changes to improve transparency

By political reporter Georgia Hitch

An independent review into the government’s carbon credit scheme has rejected suggestions it is fundamentally flawed, but has made a series of recommendations to improve its transparency and integrity.

Key points:

  • The review found the scheme was “fundamentally” well designed when it was first introduced
  • The panel has recommended data on credits should be made public
  • Critics says it is confusing that the report thinks the scheme is working but has recommended significant governance changes 

The scheme works by giving a carbon credit, officially called an Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) for every tonne of greenhouse gases avoided or stored by registered projects.

These credits are purchased by the government and go toward meeting emissions reduction targets, but a growing number are sold into a private marketplace to businesses wanting to offset their own emissions.

Last year a number of criticisms were made of the scheme, including by ex-industry insiders who claimed it had become a “rort” and some industry players who argued the rules did not incentivise any additional emissions reductions.

The review panel, chaired by former chief scientist Ian Chubb, noted the integrity of the scheme had been called into question.

“It has been argued that the level of abatement has been overstated, that ACCUs are therefore not what they are meant to be, so the policy is not effective,” the report said.

“The Panel does not share this view.

“Notwithstanding the criticisms advanced, the Panel concludes that the ACCU scheme was fundamentally well designed when introduced.”

Read more:

Funny how the cheapest form of energy needs so much government help to get on its feet.

I doubt the Chubb Report into carbon credit integrity solves or changes anything. The stench of fraud will always hang over carbon credit schemes, because unlike other forms of fraud, there is no financial incentive to report carbon credit fraud when it occurs.

Both the seller and buyer benefit financially when a fraudulent carbon credit is sold.

The criminal who sells the carbon credit makes money for nothing. The purchaser who turns a blind eye to the crime gets to burnish their green credentials, or satisfy mandatory carbon credit purchase requirements, at a steep discount to the price of purchasing real carbon credits.

Simple market forces create an overwhelming financial incentive to produce, buy and sell fake carbon credits.

Keeping carbon credit markets honest is like trying to balance an egg on its point – the slightest relaxation of vigilance, and everything topples over. Fraudulent credits undercut and drive out genuine credits, and in an eye blink everyone still participating is in on the game.

Even if we accept the in my opinion dubious claim that existing carbon credit schemes are honest, I doubt this alleged integrity will last, once real money enters the system.

As for the impact of the carbon tax on the Australian economy, I suspect the re-introduction of a carbon tax has already been priced into market expectations. Many Aussie dispatchable energy providers are already closing shop as rapidly as they can organise an orderly retreat from Australia’s energy market. Confirming their worst fears, by introducing an “opportunity” to purchase carbon credits, simply increases the incentive to pack up and leave.

Even parts salvaged from the decrepit coal plants will be welcome in poor countries which are struggling to industrialise.

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January 10, 2023 3:06 am

You mean the left of the ALP were right about Albanese; he is a “little Trot”? (Trotskyist

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 10, 2023 3:39 pm

Not sure why, Eric.

Whitlam at least had a sharp wit. This puppet doesn’t even own a blunt one.

Reply to  May Contain Traces of Seafood
January 10, 2023 4:19 pm

Maybe only half one?

Reply to  leefor
January 10, 2023 6:23 pm

really ?

The ALP election policy says:

  • Adopt the Business Council of Australia’s recommendation for facilities already covered by the Government’s Safeguard Mechanism that emissions be reduced gradually and predictably over time, to support international competitiveness and economic growth – consistent with industry’s own commitment to net zero by 2050.

Are they Trots at the BCA too, or is leefor a deluded voter

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 6:59 pm

It was Tom Uren of Labor who said that it was his leftist colleagues who labelled him a “little Trot”. The BCA also cheered when the original Carbon Tax was repealed.

I’ll let you make up your own mind about how solid the BCA is on a Carbon Tax.

Reply to  leefor
January 10, 2023 7:59 pm

Rio Tinto’s local boss has commended the Albanese government for providing crucial support to heavy industry as it outlines plans for tougher emissions cuts.”

So denying reality is how you deal with the information?
They may be wrong but they are all behind it .

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 8:57 pm

So where did I deny reality?
Reality 1. Albanese has been labelled a “little Trot”
Reality 2. The BCA has wombled on a Carbon Tax.

It won’t do anything for “net zero” as Australia is already a net sequesterer of Carbon. So realistically the Carbon Tax is merely virtue signalling.

Most of our politicians wouldn’t know their a*se from their elbows.

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 7:14 pm

“Uren wrote in his autobiography that giving Albanese a job raised eyebrows in the Left, with some “comrades” saying to him: “Oh, you’re putting a young Trot on your staff”.”–c-9308129

Reply to  leefor
January 10, 2023 8:03 pm

So what . The party leader still has to have his caucus behind any policies.

And the Australian Big Business is supporting this new carbon tax equivalent.

The recent election green wave ( many with a blue tinge) changed many things

Reply to  Duker
January 11, 2023 1:58 am

BCA’s is in the pocket of energy barons.

January 10, 2023 3:17 am

Mister Sneaky

January 10, 2023 3:44 am

The Australian Carbon Tax is Back — Following the election of the socialist-left-green Labor party…Well wow– breaking news, who would have thought..

Reply to  SteveG
January 10, 2023 6:28 pm

No its not
They are just using an existing CO2 reduction mechanism put in place by the previous Coalition government – who lost heavily to ‘green-blue’ candidates

The Safeguard Mechanism was put in place by the previous Coalition Government. It requires facilities that produce over 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually (around 215 facilities) to keep their net emissions below a baseline. ‘

And the labour revamp is backed by the Business Council of Australia...heard of them ?

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 6:54 pm

A government using a “CO2 reduction mechanism” – don’t get any dumber than that. That naughty CO2,must be reduced.

Safeguard mechanism – Just another useless, stupid piece of nutty government Nut-Zero related gibberish, that no doubt contains a heap of assumptions from models relating to a non-existent problem, with yet to be invented “solutions” Throw it away together with Nut-Zero, and all the illogical arbitrary baselines and incomprehensibly stupid targets and future dates.

The BCA? No never heard of em, tell me about the group of CEO’s please.

Reply to  SteveG
January 10, 2023 8:06 pm
However, Rio Tinto’s Australian chief executive, Kellie Parker, applauded the government for ensuring support for heavy industry, which she said was “at the heart of today’s announcements”.
“We will need to work through the details to see exactly what it means for all of our assets, but the government’s climate ambitions align with our own commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and our plans to decarbonise our Gladstone assets to meet our group climate targets,” Parker said.

we both know that net zero is faith based accounting/science but it is what it is at the moment

Reply to  Duker
January 11, 2023 2:29 am

“we both know that net zero is faith based accounting/science but it is what it is at the moment”

It’s neither accounting nor science, certainly not faith as I know it. Nut-Zero is a joke, yes that’s what it is, a really BAD joke.

Climate discussion, as far as it even occurs, is a vacuum of intellect. And even trying to bring some sanity into this void will be met with suspicion.

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 7:26 pm

Mister Sneaky is everywhere one step ahead looking out for you-

Ron Long
January 10, 2023 4:02 am

Eric is right on with this report. The atmospheric CO2 level continues its slow and regular rise, sea level continues the same rise, global temperature is in an eight year pause, and the carbon taxes have done what? Oh. Put money into play for corruption. Nothing else.

January 10, 2023 4:50 am

Note this is a satirical photoshopped image”

No kidding! If my left arm looked like that….

Coeur de Lion
January 10, 2023 5:38 am

They mean carbon dioxide don’t they? How is this measured in tonnes? It’s a lightweight gas isn’t it? I’m confused

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
January 10, 2023 1:04 pm

All gases have mass. CO2 is comprised of one carbon and two oxygen molecules. Using molar masses, the molecule weighs 12 + 16×2 = 44grams per mole. At standard pressure and temperatures, one mole mass of ANY gas will displace 22.4 litres.

so 22.4 litres of volume could contain: –

  • CO2, 44 grams
  • O2, 32 grams
  • N2, 28 grams.

You can do the sums to see how many grams of carbon you need to burn to make a tonne of CO2. (Hint, you need 12 grams of carbon to make 44 grams of CO2).

Reply to  Eng_Ian
January 10, 2023 3:19 pm

so.. when applying a “carbon” tax, is it the carbon content of CO2 that is measured, or the actual CO2 that is measured…

If I were to burn 1 tonne of coal, that would produce 1/14 X 44 or 3.14 tonnes of CO2. (assuming coal is close to 100% Carbon for this exercise, but allowing for some other hydrocarbons, maybe round down to approx 3 tonnes of CO2)

At $75/tonne for “carbon tax” does that mean burning 1 tonne of COAL attracts $75 of carbon tax because of the carbon content burnt, or 3 x $75 or $225 for the 3 tonnes of CO2 produced from that 1 tonne of coal..

I can just see the effect of prices of steel, cement etc, let alone electricity…

Maybe time to bring back that honest labor politician Peter Garrett who advised during a discussion at the Canberra airport ” You can tell them anything before an election as we will change it after we get into power” or words to that effect.. Seems the mantra of Albo and his cohorts…

Reply to  kevc114
January 10, 2023 4:23 pm

The answer comes down to whether you own a windmill. If you do, you’ll pay nothing after the grants clear. And your sum above should be 1T /12 and then times 44 for CO2.

Even if you make some CO, it will oxidise in the atmosphere and ultimately by CO2. So the sum remains the same.

When it comes to oxides of Nitrogen, the government, (in Oz), assume that ALL oxides will end up as NO2, so I guess that points you into the direction that the government will ASSUME the highest mass and hence bill you for CO2, (44 tonnes compared to 12 tonnes).

I hope that helps. With regard to the actual numbers and real bills, wait for the emitters to complain, then you’ll know.

January 10, 2023 5:45 am

Labor…is anyone at all surprised?
another reason to kick a labor voter..HARD

Steve Case
Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 10, 2023 6:19 am

How do you kick a voter that doesn’t exist?

Reply to  Steve Case
January 10, 2023 6:34 am

Make a wish?

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Steve Case
January 10, 2023 3:46 pm

I think the majority of the problem is that the average voter has no idea how the system works.


  • How does 2PP work to elect someone to the lower house?
  • How does the quota system work for the Senate?
  • How is government formed based on election results?
  • How is the PM and Leader of the Opposition selected?

How many people do we know or have met (or even been ourselves) who claim “I didn’t vote for him. I voted for ‘X'”?

I feel that before Australians are allowed to vote they must be able to pass a quick quiz on how the election methods work (ie – “If you vote for a minor party, where does your vote go under 2PP?”). If they fail they are not allowed to leave until they pass.

Only then will they be given a ballot.

old cocky
Reply to  May Contain Traces of Seafood
January 10, 2023 4:15 pm

It depends on whether you vote above or below the line on the tablecloth. I think you still have to number all the candidates on the lower house ballot.

Reply to  May Contain Traces of Seafood
January 10, 2023 6:38 pm

You dont know how preferential voting happens.
For the house of Representatives easy peasy to understand
2PP is only a nationwide notional number to compare the major parties . Its not a european style proportional voting system

They only vote for one electoral division or seat and list all the candidates in order.
Simple Dont get 50% and its an instant runoff eliminating the lowest voting in order and allocating their second choice till some one has 50% +1 vote
Quite a few seats already have a candidate over 50%. Roughly 12-15 seats ( out of 150) have the second place primary candidate actually winning Every 9-12 years one seat will have the 3rd place primary candidate winning after preferences

Dont get confused by the Senate voting as that doesnt decide the government

Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 10, 2023 1:08 pm

32% of the eligible voters caused this tax on 100% of the population. Business doesn’t get a vote, they just get the tax bill and they pass it on to the consumer. Or close shop.

Why would you invest in Oz?

Reply to  Eng_Ian
January 10, 2023 6:40 pm

Its the Business council of Australias idea to adapt the previous governments scheme

get some original information my friend

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 11:49 pm

That was a left wing BCA recommendation, not government policy.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 10, 2023 6:31 pm

So funny

The recent election so it was the previous coalition government get a kicking from the Green-blue candidates and Greens It really was a ‘green wave’ in US terminology

Do try to keep up.

Jim Simpson
January 10, 2023 6:03 am

Aussies can thank the former Turnbull Govt, together with compliant Bi-partisan support from both Labor & The Greens for creation of the Safeguard Mechanism legislation (circa 2015) for this legalized taxing of a minuscule, odourless, tasteless, invisible atmospheric trace gas necessary for life on Earth.  The demonization of CO2 continues apace & shall remain so until such time as a future Australian Govt has the temerity (courage) to repeal The Safeguard Mechanism legislation. We wish…. In the meantime, the Carpetbaggers are having a field day at Aussie taxpayers expense.

Reply to  Jim Simpson
January 10, 2023 6:42 pm

Good comments . Its the only one that makes sense , as most dont recognise its already in place and the BCA support the changes that labour promised in its pre election policy

But as you pointed out its a modern version of counting angels on the tip of a pin

January 10, 2023 6:26 am

Here’s an Australian funny….

“Give a XXXX” for the environment”

Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece, says XXXX beer “get its right” with the “Give a XXXX” ad being about the world and environment and the importance of “stopping climate change.”

And I was under the impression that Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for anything else…

Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 9:42 am

XXXX is brewed by Castlemaine-Perkins, a division of the Japanese-owned company Lion
Lion is an alcoholic beverage company that operates in Australia and New Zealand, and a subsidiary of Japanese beverage conglomerate Kirin.

It’s been about 35 years since XXXX was a home-grown Aussie beer.

Reply to  Mr.
January 10, 2023 1:01 pm

It isn’t 35 years since it was advertised in Australia – is it?

Reply to  Mr.
January 10, 2023 6:44 pm

Brewed in Australia still . Thats home grown

Budweiser isnt owned by a US based firm either , its called globalisation

Reply to  Duker
January 10, 2023 9:44 pm

Budweiser isn’t called “globalisation”, it’s called “piss”.

January 10, 2023 10:26 am

“Carbon tax” is nothing but a money grab from industry that will do nothing to decline emissions. It’s a zero sum game. It’s like moving a car’s emissions from the tailpipe to the power plant.

A happy little debunker
January 10, 2023 12:31 pm

I blame Greg Hunt…

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