Australian PM Starts Push for Carbon-Tax Repeal

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says taxing carbon emissions is holding back his country's economy.
National Journal
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Alex Brown
Nov. 13, 2013, 2:26 a.m.

Aus­trali­an Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott fol­lowed through on a cam­paign pledge Wed­nes­day with a bill to elim­in­ate that coun­try’s car­bon tax, kick­ing off a le­gis­lat­ive fight that is sure to garner glob­al at­ten­tion.

Re­peal­ing the tax was a cent­ral cam­paign vow for Ab­bott, who was elec­ted in Septem­ber. His plan would re­place the tax with an in­cent­ive sys­tem, giv­ing fin­an­cial pay­outs for emis­sions re­duc­tions. While the bill is ex­pec­ted to pass the lower house, its pro­spects are un­cer­tain in the Sen­ate. Labor and Green Party mem­bers are pledging to pro­tect the meas­ure they see as es­sen­tial for the de­veloped world’s worst per-cap­ita car­bon emit­ter.

This is just the latest of Ab­bott’s clashes with en­vir­on­ment­al­ists: Last month, he cri­ti­cized a U.N. of­fi­cial for sug­gest­ing wild­fires are linked to cli­mate change and drew fire from Al Gore for down­play­ing the ur­gency of cli­mate is­sues.

The gov­ern­ment of Ca­na­dian Prime Min­is­ter Steph­en Harp­er, a close ally of Ab­bott, weighed in as well, prais­ing the move.