Australia prime minister moves to repeal climate tax

AGAINST CARBON TAX. In this file photo, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks to the media in front of the Bali bombing memorial after laying a wreath at the memorial to those killed in the 2002 Bali bombing, in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, 09 October 2013. EPA/Made Nagi

Australia’s new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday, November 13, moved to abolish a carbon tax designed to combat climate change as his first major economic reform since taking office. The carbon tax charged the country’s biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price and was due to transition to an emissions trading scheme. Scrapping the tax was a central election promise of Abbott who had argued the cost of the levy was passed on to consumers, resulting in higher utility bills and day-to-day costs. The new government instead favors a “direct action” plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting 20 million trees.

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