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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora