Q+A: What does Australia CO2 scheme mean for trading?
By David Fogarty
SINGAPORE Nov 10 (Reuters) - Australia's parliament on Tuesday approved the world's third national carbon pricing scheme and the second largest outside Europe to control emissions growth and fight climate change.
It allows trading overseas through imports of U.N.-backed carbon offsets and will likely have future links to neighbouring New Zealand's carbon trading programme.
While Australia's scheme formally starts next July, trading is not expected to pick up until about 2014.
In a boost to the market, Australia's main bourse said on Thursday it plans to introduce carbon futures trading before the full emissions trading begins in 2015.
HOW WILL THE PRICING SCHEME WORK?
It sets a fixed carbon tax of A$23 ($23.25) a tonne on the top 500 polluters from July 2012, then moves to an emissions trading scheme from July 2015. Companies involved will need a permit for every tonne of carbon they emit.
About 60 percent of the nation's emissions, currently about 570 million tonnes a year, will be covered and the scheme aims to cut emissions by 5 percent from 2000 levels by 2020 -- a reduction of 160 million tonnes by 2020 based on government growth forecasts. Continued...