Do we really want to hand control of our carbon price to Europe?

● By Prof. Paul Frijters, University of Queensland, Australia ● Linking Australia to the European Union carbon emissions trading scheme by 2015 will undoubtedly affect the revenue gained from carbon trading. The question is, how much? One should expect up to 50% less revenue than originally thought in 2015 (some $3 billion a year) – but there are many variables that could blow even this figure completely off-course. The main change for Australia is that our decision to join the EU under its current rules effectively means our revenue and foreign development aid will suddenly become the result of an internal EU struggle for control over the permit system. To set the scene, consider what we will have in the run-up to 2015. Until then, we intend to charge about 300 Australian companies a fixed price per carbon emission, increasing from the current level of $23 per tonne to $25.40 per tonne in 2014, estimated to yield around $8 billion in 2014. In 2015, the main change is that companies no longer face a fixed price, but can choose between buying permits at auction from the Australian government or from the EU trading scheme. Three aspects of this change will affect revenue: there will be changes around who will have to buy carbon emission rights, the number of carbon emission rights sold by the Australian government, and the price. The price of carbon emissions is the easiest to gauge: since we would then be in a fully integrated market with the EU, the Australian carbon price would align with that. At present this price is around $8 per tonne, although it was as high as $30 per tonne in 2006. But the key thing to know is that in 2015 it will almost entirely depend on who controls the allocations of permits in the EU then. At present, individual European countries effectively control this allocation and with a combination of over-allocations, cheating and corruption, these countries have flooded the EU with permits leading to the current low price ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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