Climate Legislation in Australia

For nearly a decade, Australia suffered from a devastating drought. In 2007, Australia began requiring corporations and entities over a certain size to report their greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, and energy consumption under the  National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER)

Prime Minister Rudd tried to pass a carbon emissions trading scheme, but it stalled in 2009.

Julia Gillard challenged Rudd and was elected leader of the Labor Party. In 2011, the drought ended, with heavy rains flooding huge areas. She helped negotiate a one time tax on incomes over $50,000 to help with reconstruction after the floods,

In December of last year an agreement was reached in Parliament on a carbon pricing mechanism requiring 500 largest emitters of greenhouse gases to buy permits. This week, the pricing for the permits was modified, under an agreement with the European Union. In Australia the price will be  fixed $A23 per ton, but change to a floating price in 2015 and emitters will be allowed to purchase half their required permits on the European Union market at their price now, which is around $A10 per ton.  Europeans will also be able to buy permits from Australia in a few years.

Emitters will be able to buy offsets, under some restrictions, and for no more than half of their obligation.

Part of the revenue from the sale of permits will be returned to Australian households to buffer the rising price of energy, and part will be used to ease impacts on industries, and to boost investments in renewable power and energy efficiency.