A few weeks ago, we reported that an Australian bill to put a price on carbon had passed their house – now it has passed their senate, and is well on its way to driving Australia towards real cuts in carbon emissions.  Here are just a few of the details of what it means:

  • $10 billion investment in renewables over the next five years
  • A carbon price that will rise each year, introducing a cap in 2015
  • Finalizing contracts to close 2000MW of dirty old coal plants

Major congratulations to our Australian partners who have stayed unified and fought hard to pass this bill, that while I’m sure has its imperfections, is a major step forward.  The passing of this bill marks the second developed country, behind New Zealand, to put a price on carbon outside of the European Union.  Who will be next?  Here’s more from 350 Australia coordinator, Blair Palese:


The Australian Senate on Tuesday passed legislation for a range of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in Australia including an emissions trading scheme and encourage the shift to cleaner energy, many years in the making and a huge step for the nation. The role of environmental organisations, including 350.org, and the many members of the public who doggedly showed their support for action in the face of sometimes ugly politics.

For many of us, it’s a chance to stop and realise what has just happened.

Forbes Magazine recently said “Hurrah, finally someone has managed to get a carbon tax to beat climate change right. Yes, it’s the Australians.” This is now a small statement. Of course the proof of this getting it right will not be known for several years but Australia has kicked the ball in play and the game is on.

What next? After the hangover passes, we need to realise that there is much convincing to do of the Australian public to raise understanding about why we need to take this action and why it’s good for the Australian economy as the world wakes up to our low carbon future. No time to rest now – time to take a deep breath and keep up the work!


For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram