The Clean Energy Act 2011 was an Act of the Australian Parliament, the main Act in a package of legislation that established an Australian emissions trading scheme (ETS), to be preceded by a three-year period of fixed carbon pricing in Australia designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as part of efforts to combat global warming. The package was introduced by the Gillard Labor Government in February 2011 and was repealed by the Abbott Government on July 17, 2014, backdated to July 1, 2014.
The Gillard Labor Government’s legislation followed by an attempt by the Rudd Labor Government to secure the passage of ETS through the Australian Parliament. In opposition, Rudd had the climate change “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” and called for a cut to greenhouse gas emissions by 60% before 2050. Both the incumbent Howard Government and the Rudd Labor opposition promised to implement an ETS before the 2007 federal election. Labor won the election, and the Rudd government began negotiating the passage of an ETS through Parliament. The Opposition led by Brendan Nelson called for the vote on the government ETS be delayed until after the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. Rudd said in response that it would be Abbott describes Rudd’s Emission Trading plan as a “Great big tax on everything” and opposed it. Abbott announced a new Coalition policy on carbon emission reduction in February, which committed to the Coalition to a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020. Abbott proposed the creation of an ’emissions reduction fund’ to provide ‘direct’ incentives to industry and farmers to reduce carbon emissions. Following the unsuccessful Copenhagen Conference, Rudd announced the deferral of the Scheme and elected to the double dissolution election. In June 2010, Rudd was elected leader of the Labor Party in the internal leadership challenge and Julia Gillard became Prime Minister.
Following the election as a party leader, in various policy announcements in the lead up to the 2010 election, Prime Minister Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan gave assurances that no carbon tax would be introduced by a Gillard led government, but that a “citizens’ assembly” would be called to a public support for a price on carbon. The 2010 election resulted in a hung parliament in which Gillard secured the support of the Greens and three independents to form a government. On September 28, Gillard announced that a citizens’ assembly would not be held and would instead “a multi-party climate change committee” of Labor, Greens and Independent members, would review the issues. On 24 February 2011, in a joint press conference of the
The Act begins on 1 July 2012, and operates on a financial year basis. It is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator and the responsible Minister. A carbon pollution cap limits the sum of: (a) the total number of auctioned carbon units; and (b) the total number of free carbon units issued by the Jobs and Competitiveness Program; and (c) the total number of free carbon units issued to coal-fired electricity generators.If a person (including a corporation) is responsible for and the person does not qualify for a single unit of emission of carbon dioxide equivalent of the gas charge. The financial years beginning on 1 July 2012, 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2014 are fixed charge years (otherwise known as carbon tax). In a fixed charge year, carbon units will be issued under the Act for a fixed charge. Later financial years are flexible years which involve emissions trading. In a flexible year, carbon units will be released under the auspices of the United States as a result of emissions trading, and emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) industries. However, in the flexible load years beginning on July 1, 2015, July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, some carbon units may be issued for a fixed load (to act as a cap). Furthermore, free carbon units will be issued under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program (which deals with emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities). Free carbon units will be issued to coal-fired electricity generators. If a carbon unit is not issued for a fixed charge, the unit is transferable. The Climate Change Authority.
Under the scheme, around 500 entities will be required to buy permits for each ton of CO 2 emitted. Personal income tax will be reduced to $ 80,000 per year and the tax-free threshold increased from $ 6,000 to $ 18,200. In February 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Clean Energy Future Carbon price had not increased, as it is spending on exploration increased by 62 percent in 2010-2011, more than any other mineral commodity. The government agency Geoscience Australia reported that investment in coal prospecting reached $ 520 million in 2010-2011.