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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