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We cannot afford not to have a carbon tax

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We cannot afford not to have a carbon tax

The argument by big polluting carbon produces, Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party that we will destroy Australian Industry and Australian jobs is a very poor argument. It is also very sad that Julia Gillard and Bob Brown cannot do a better job of selling a carbon tax and the benefits that will follow. 

Yes a carbon tax of about $25 per ton will add about $500 per year to the family budget but this will be offset or should I say it should be offset by a reduction in Income Tax and Company Tax so that most households and companies are not out of pocket at all. The only companies that will be out of pocket are the big polluters and yes jobs will be lost in this sector. But these jobs will be offset with new jobs in a new age low carbon economy. A carbon tax will invigorate the renewable energy sector, there will be increased money spent on research and new opportunities to become a world leader in renewable energy if we move first.

The anti carbon tax lobby will argue that we cannot afford a carbon tax and it will cost jobs but the pro carbon tax lobby which is falling on deaf ears and not getting its mesage across should be arguing for an even larger tax on carbon. There are opprtunities that exist right now for the countries that transition to a low carbon economy first. They will become the exporters of renewable energy such as solar power and wind power and other alternative energies that may have not even been developed yet. Whilst the last countries to move to a low carbon economy will most likely be the importers of these technologies.

In 2008 for the first time, more renewable energy than conventional power capacity was added in both the European Union and United States, demonstrating a “fundamental transition” of the world’s energy markets towards renewables, according to a report released by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network based in Paris. According to Wikipedia. Global revenues for solar photovoltaics, wind power, and biofuels expanded from $76 billion in 2007 to $115 billion in 2008. New global investments in clean energy technologies—including venture capital, project finance, public markets, and research and development—expanded by 4.7 percent from $148 billion in 2007 to $155 billion in 2008. Continued growth for the renewable energy sector is expected and promotional policies helped the industry weather the 2009 economic crisis better than many other sectors. Clean Edge suggests that the commercialisation of clean energy has helped countries around the world pull out of the 2009 global financial crisis. Economic analysts expect market gains for renewable energy  (and natural gas) following the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents. Globally, there are an estimated 3 million direct jobs in renewable energy industries, with about half of them in the biofuels industry. Growth in these industries has been doubling every two years since 2006 and this trend is expected to at least continue if not increase.

Countries such as the US, China and India are already attracting significant investmentt in clean technology. We are in danger of losing out unless we urgently adopt a new approach to fast tracking the commercialisation of low carbon technologies in Australia. To ensure we benefit from this new age of low carbon industrialism we need to urgently establish where Austtalia can lead in developing new technologies.

In my opinion the carbon tax should be set at at leat $100 per tonne and so that hoseholds will be hit with at least a $2000 bill per annum on the use of carbon so that it is truely felt in the hip pocket. Households and business’ that move to lowering their use of carbon will profit once they are adequaltely compensated with lower taxes and family tax benefits.

It is also expected that the the fuel excise will be reduced to offset the carbon tax on petrol. I would ask the what is the point of that ? The fuel excise should be left on and the extra revenue used to improve public tranport. In China they have fast trains that travel up to 350 km/h. A fast train should be built from Adelaide to Brisbane with this money and local public transport should be subsidised to the point of at least being free for the disadvantaged and if not free for everyone else heavily subsidised by petrol users. And for industries that cannot use public tranport a reduction in company tax would offset this additionl cost of higher fuel  on their business.

We all need to learn to significantly change they way we move around this country. People embraced recycling and with education will also embrace a world class public transport system. Wouldn’t it be much better to go by train from Melbourne CBD to Sydney CBD in about 2 hours by train? Now, most people go by gas guzzling planes and by the time you get to the airport, check in, go through security etc then get off the plane and get your baggage off the plane then get from the airport to your final CBD destination would take more than 2 hours now. 

According to treehugger.com

A United States National Renewable Energy Standard Would Yield 850,000 New Jobs
Studies by the Blue Green Alliance and The Alliance for Climate Protection have found: 1) if the US had a national renewable energy standard more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs with existing companies could be created, across all 50 states; and, 2) investing $150 billion a year into renewable energy and energy efficiency could create 1.7 million jobs.

Steelworkers Union Prez Backs Tour
United Steelworkers International president Leo Gerard touted the benefits of a low-carbon economy as well:

Building a clean energy economy can revitalize American manufacturing, but only if we commit to using domestically produced components. In confronting the challenges of recession, global warming and energy independence, we have an opportunity to transform our economy and create good jobs that truly are ‘made in America.’

At this early stage of the new world, low carbon economy, the opportunities are limitless for those with the vision and leadership to be the first to embrace change .

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