News / Asia

New Australian Carbon Tax Meets with Protests

Smoke bellows from a chimney stack at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, 1 Jul, 2012.Smoke bellows from a chimney stack at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, 1 Jul, 2012.
x
Smoke bellows from a chimney stack at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, 1 Jul, 2012.
Smoke bellows from a chimney stack at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, 1 Jul, 2012.
Phil Mercer
SYDNEY — Several thousand people in Sydney have protested a carbon tax that came into force Sunday.  The government says it is a key economic and environmental reform, while critics insist it will inflict great damage on the economy.
 
Opposition to the carbon tax has been relentless.  The measure will require about 500 of Australia's biggest polluters to pay $23 for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit.  

Protesters in Sydney say it will destroy the Australian economy.  They insist is that man’s influence on the climate is minimal and that warmer temperatures are part of a natural cycle.
 
These demonstrators say the carbon tax is unjustifiable.
 
“It is wrong.  It is ridiculous.  Well, the rest of the world are all laughing at us as well, and look at the China, the one that does most of the pollution.  What are they doing?  Laughing at us and buying all our stuff.”  

“The science, the empirical science, completely contradicts any need for any action against human carbon dioxide.”

“What you'll see is an uprising from the people, a peaceful uprising.  They are not going to put up with it.”  
 
Australia’s conservative opposition says it will repeal the carbon tax if it wins the next election, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the levy is the most important economic and environmental reform the country has seen in more than a decade.
 
“We believe in putting a price on carbon, in tackling climate change, in protecting our environment, in strengthening our economy," said Gillard. "As a Labor Party, as a Labor Government we have not done all of this for no reason.  We have done it because we believe it is pivotal to Australia's future.”
 
The aim of Australia’s new levy is to encourage heavy polluters to invest in cleaner technology in order to reduce their reliance on coal.  The government says the carbon tax will usher in a new age of renewable energy in a country that is one of the developed world’s worst per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases, which environmentalists say are causing global temperatures to rise.
 
There will be multi-billion-dollar compensation plans to reduce the impact of the Australian tax on businesses and households.
 
A recent survey suggested the majority of Australian companies believe that carbon pricing is here to stay and will soon become part of a “new business reality”.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid