Following the failure of the Rudd administration’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the Gillard Government has passed its ‘Clean Energy Plan’ through the Australian House of Representatives that will see Australian businesses facing a price on carbon from mid-2012 under a Carbon Pricing Mechanism (‘CPM’ or ‘Mechanism’). The CPM is the key feature of the Clean Energy Plan announced in July 2011, with other aspects including funding for the land-use sector, renewable energy projects, and increased energy efficiency. Progress of the legislation has been ‘fast tracked’ through Parliament and the Australian Government hopes to have them passed into law by the Senate in November 2011. Despite the initial success of the policy, there remains a high level of public and political opposition. Together with the current global uncertainty regarding the future of an international framework post-2012, there may yet be further hurdles to establishing the CPM.
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