Facts About a Price on Carbon Pollution

Climate Action Sydney Eastern Suburbs
Big mining and groceries organisations plan to spend $10 million on advertisements to get their anti-pollution price message across, according to Friday’s news. Their ads will intensify the scare campaigns on jobs and petrol.

It’s a last, desperate bid from big companies who want to keep polluting our skies for free. Just like when they spent millions on ads to defeat the mining super profits tax (and then declared record billion dollar profits), they have their own interests, not the national interest at heart.

Let’s not go backwards. We can’t match their $10 million – but we can spread the facts, peer-to-peer, friend-to-friend and family-to-family. Forward the facts by forwarding this email to a friend.

So what are the facts, and what are we saying yes to?

1) Yes to helping households that are struggling with bills

A price on pollution is NOT a direct tax on individuals. It’s not like the GST and it won’t be added to peoples’ annual tax bills. It’s actually a tax on Australia’s 1,000 biggest polluting companies – who will finally have to start paying for the pollution they put in our skies.

At least half of the money raised will be used to help households that are struggling with bills. This means money in your pocket to help pay the bills.


It’s true that putting a price on pollution will make some products more expensive, but the overall impact on cost of living is expected to be small – an increase of 1.1% for the average family – and that’s before compensation.

A price on pollution will add less than 1% to the weekly shopping bill – less than $1.60 a week. (As ACF’s climate campaign manager Tony Mohr said yesterday, “You’d lose more money down the back of the couch.”)

Electricity prices are already on the rise – not because of pricing pollution (which has not been implemented) – but because of under-investment in infrastructure.

2) Yes to cutting carbon pollution, Yes to a cleaner Australia

It’s in our national interest to invest in clean energy sources like solar and wind, because the technology is available now, and the resources will last forever. A price on pollution will make clean energy sources like wind and solar competitive, and unlock billions of dollars of investment in regional areas.

If we don’t act now it will be more costly and harder to change things in the future – more costly for our economy, jobs, our health and our environment. The more we delay, the more we risk being left behind as a nation.


We’re already trailing the 31 European countries and major US states such as California that have put a price on carbon pollution. Some for over a decade. Even NZ has already priced pollution!

3) Yes to cleaner technologies, Yes to jobs

A price on pollution will create jobs cleaning up existing industries, and building new ones. Every cent raised from big polluters should be invested in clean technologies like solar and wind, helping households struggling with bills, and supporting workers and business as we move to a clean energy economy.

The ACTU, which represents 2 million Australian workers, wouldn’t support a price on pollution if it was bad for jobs.


ACF- ACTU research shows that Australia could create more than 770,000 extra jobs by 2030 by taking strong action now to reduce pollution. The jobs identified are not just “clean energy jobs”, but new jobs in traditional industries such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the services sector. [Creating Jobs – Cutting Pollution, NIEIR 2010]

4) Yes to action on climate change

A price on pollution means finally tackling climate change.

5) Yes to healthy air, Yes to protecting our environment:

Cutting carbon pollution will mean healthy air for our kids, the elderly, everyone. Less carbon pollution in our skies will help protect our natural gems, like the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu.

That’s how it works. That’s why we’re saying yes. And now it’s up to you to spread the facts to counter the $10 million being spent on an anti-price on pollution scare campaign.

(Quoted verbatim from an ACF emailout)


I am a concerned world citizen who wishes a sustainable existence for all life forms on our wonderful planet. I also compose and play music: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=840122, promote the Sustainability Street Approach, Transition and Permaculture principles as well as a progressive Australia exemplified by GetUp!: http://www.getup.org.au/
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