Australia Will Lead the Way

Great, fantastic news out of Australia this week – they are set to pass historical legislation that will put a price on carbon (AUS$23 to start). Although there is still a bit of controversy over it, overall it is amazing and exciting and such a huge important first step forward. Here is how it works:

Of the total revenue the government receives from the tax:

  1. 50% is given to the people as assistance, to help them pay for lower energy technology and to help them pay for the rising cost of energy
  2. $13 billion is used to boost green clean renewable energy resources and create green jobs
  3. Some will be given to farmers to reduce carbon in farming
  4. Some will be given to project that protect wildlife and ecosystems

This is terrific! Here in North America the lack of action of climate change by our governments is can be frustrating. There are so many people still fighting the good fight for change, but it can seem almost hopeless at times. Not willing to give up on hope, many of us are making changes in how we live our lives, since our governments are not there to lead the way. All hope is not lost however, as many municipal and provincial governments are stepping up to the plate. My own city of Edmonton is about to embark on an exciting new environmental strategy, called “The Way We Green“. Ontario has an exciting feed-in-tariff system that encourages the installation of solar panels. Vancouver is doing absolutely amazing things, and aims to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Action is being taken!

However, national leadership in both Canada and the US seems far away. 

For Australia – they have done it. National leadership, on climate change, it happened – there.

Perhaps our governments will take pause and reflect what Australia has done. Perhaps now they will see this and take a long hard look in the mirror. Perhaps they will see Australia’s lead and – dare I say – follow?

Here is hoping that Australia will lead the way!

I will leave you with an inspiring video created by Australian youth that shows the huge impact one young girl can have. My heart was bursting by the end of this one!

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3 thoughts on “Australia Will Lead the Way

  1. Awesome news! And love that video. 🙂

    I don’t know much about Australia. I’m assuming they don’t have tar sands. We do, and I don’t think a carbon tax is possible in a country run by a federal government that is in bed with the tar sands industry. Yes, at the municipal and provincial/territorial levels, lots of positive change is occurring. I just feel that federally, we’re a long way from where we need to be. Still, this news gives me hope. Thanks for spreading the word.

    • You’re right, Andrea, the tar sands profits are definitely blinding our federal govt to the very real and urgent need to take action on climate change and embrace a renewable energy future. However, Australia leads even Canada and the U.S. in GHG emissions per person – they’re the highest in the world. And while they don’t have the tar sands, they are a major coal exporter, and 80% of their electricity comes from coal right now! As you can imagine, the coal industry is lobbying as vigorously there as our oil and gas industries are here, to make this a non-starter. But the Aussie govt has done it – due to, in large part, the Greens which hold the balance of power. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next while before the vote to pass the bill is held in October (at the earliest).

      • Thanks Christine, I had no idea Australia was a major coal exporter! That gives me much more hope for Canada. So… the trick is getting the Green Party to hold the balance of power in our government! 🙂

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