Around 300 heavy carbon emitters, including councils and companies that account for about 60 per cent of the nation's 550 million tones of CO2, will pay the A$23-a-tonne carbon price (NZ$29). For the first three years, polluters will pay a fixed price for CO2 emissions, reaching A$25.40 a tonne in the final year.
Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry commented: "From today, Australia is finally putting its money where its mouth is on climate change it is no longer free for big companies to pollute our shared atmosphere. Australia's carbon pricing mechanism might enter history as one of the best-designed yet shortest-lived policies for climate change mitigation."
From July 2015, emissions trading with regular auctioning of pollution permits will start, along with rules that allow polluters to buy overseas emission reduction offsets, such as Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), part of the United Nation's Kyoto Protocol climate pact.
A floor of A$15 a tonne and a cap of A$20 above the expected international price will run till 2018.
Image source: http://newsfirst.lk/english-news/Science%20&%20Technology/index.php?view=news_more&id=12763