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No similarities between their tax and ours: ACA

THE Australian Coal Association says China’s proposal for a $A1.55 per tonne price on carbon demonstrates the unfairness Australia’s coal industry will face when the tax begins in July.

Lauren Barrett
No similarities between their tax and ours: ACA

China is considering a tax on emissions of greenhouse gasses by 2015, which will mark the end of the country’s 2011-15 five-year plan.

The tax is reportedly under review by the Ministry of Finance.

While the plan is in its preliminary stages, circulating media reports said a starting price on carbon could vary between $1.55 and $1.59 a tonne.

ACA chief executive officer Nikki Williams said compared to Australia’s starting price of $23 per tonne, China’s proposed tax would do little to hurt its economy.

“At a starting price of $1.55, China's carbon tax is clearly not designed to shift their economy away from fossil fuels or to prejudice their economic growth, because they know how important coal is to their future growth prospects,” Williams said.

Williams said China’s tax differed greatly to Australia’s which is being introduced from July 1.

“Australia's carbon tax is specifically designed to shift energy production away from coal,” Williams said.

“This is why the compensation is inadequate and limited to a few gassy mines.”

The industry group last year described the passing of the carbon tax by the Senate as a “vote to handicap one of Australia’s largest exports” at a time of uncertainty in the global economy.

The ACA says the plan to issue a $1.3 billion support package for the coal industry will be insufficient.

Williams said the news of a possible carbon tax in China shone the light at just how expensive Australia’s tax was.

“Our concern continues to be that Australian industries will be significantly disadvantaged by a domestic scheme that is the broadest and most expensive in the world.”

“$23 per tonne versus $1.55 per tonne and a cost to our coal industry of $18 billion to 2020 – there is no comparison.”

China remains the world’s biggest carbon polluter, emitting a quarter of total global emissions in 2010, equating to 8.33 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

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