11 Jul 2011

Climate minister welcomes Australian carbon tax

3:43 pm on 11 July 2011

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith is welcoming the Australian government's announcement of a carbon emissions tax set initially at $A23 per tonne.

Dr Smith says New Zealand officials have been working closely with their Australian counterparts and any changes to New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme will take account of the Australian announcement.

Dr Smith says he will meet with Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan in the next week for further discussions on how to bring the schemes more closely together over time.

New Zealand's Green Party is calling for the scheme to be toughened up.

Prime Minister John Key says a review of the scheme will be finished soon, but is in good shape.

Australian scheme

Under the Australian scheme announced on Sunday, the initial carbon price will be paid by the 500 heaviest emitters from 1 July 2012, the ABC reports. Agriculture is excluded from paying the carbon price.

The price will increase by 2.5% above inflation until 1 July, 2015 when a market-based emissions trading scheme will kick in.

Australian households will be handed more than $A15 billion in compensation, while some 90% of households will get tax cuts, extra payments, or both, when the price kicks in.