Key facts on Australia's carbon tax
Australia has released details of the nation's long-awaited carbon tax, which the government hopes to move to an emissions trading scheme after three years.
Here are some key facts on the pricing scheme aimed at combating climate change that is set to come into force on July 1, 2012:
-- The tax will be paid by about 500 of Australia's top polluters and will initially be set at Aus$23 (US$24.60) per tonne.
-- The levy will rise by about 2.5 percent each year in real terms until switching to an emissions trading scheme on July 1, 2015 under which the price will be set by the market.
-- The government said the reform will help reduce Australia's carbon emissions by five percent of 2000 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050.
-- The cost of living is expected to rise by about 0.7 percent in 2012/13 as a result of the tax but the government has promised to offset this, pledging a Aus$15 billion package of tax cuts, family assistance and pension support to ensure nine out of 10 households are not worse off.
-- Industry will also be compensated, with Aus$9.2 billion allocated over the first three years for free permits for manufacturers such as steel makers while the coal sector will receive Aus$1.3 billion to support jobs.
-- The government will invest Aus$1.2 billion in improving energy efficiency in manufacturing and supporting R&D and establish a Aus$10 billion fund to help businesses seeking help to get clean energy technologies off the ground.
-- The closure or partial closure of some of Australia's most emissions intensive generators will be negotiated by the government to remove up to 2,000 megawatts of capacity before 2020.
-- A new Climate Change Authority will provide expert advice on key aspects of the carbon pricing mechanism, which will have a lower and an upper limit.