THE CLEAN ENERGY LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE
The Clean Energy Legislative Package, a new market-based incentive with relevance to the environment, was implemented in legislation from 1 July 2012. The legislation includes a carbon pricing mechanism by eventually putting a cap on certain limits of greenhouse gas emission allowed into the atmosphere. The anticipated effect is that the market will adjust production patterns and drive new clean energy innovations forward.
The scheme is expected to apply to 294 facilities in the first year. These entities will be obliged to surrender emission units in respect of their carbon pollution. Initially, the emission units are issued at a fixed price ($23/tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere) but in 2015 the mechanism will move toward market based pricing and by 2019 be traded freely on the market.
From 2015 onwards it will be possible to utilise international carbon markets (for example the European Emission Trading System) when meeting relevant obligations. However, at least half of the compliance obligations must make use of domestic permits or credits.
The ABS national accounts will incorporate the financial flows as a tax on production ABS Information Paper: Recording emissions reduction schemes in ABS statistics (cat. no. 5257.0.55.001) and the first quarterly results (September quarter) to be published in the December 2012 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). This tax would be included in potential future statistics on environmental taxes as a tax on energy.