Australia to Keep Fixed Carbon Price Until 2015, Dreyfus Says

Australia will maintain a fixed price for its tax on carbon emissions until 2015 under the law Prime Minister Julia Gillard pushed through Parliament last year, the government said.

“We’ve got a fixed price under the Emissions Trading Scheme until July 1, 2015,” Mark Dreyfus, Gillard’s parliamentary secretary for climate change, said in an interview in Canberra today. “The Australian government has been consulting with business over the design of the floor price and is continuing discussions.”

The levy is set at A$23 ($24) a metric ton for the year that started July 1 and will rise at a fixed-rate of 2.5 percent a year in real terms until 2015, according to the government. Dreyfus declined to identify the businesses or lawmakers with which the government’s in discussion or give the nature of the talks or when they may be complete.

Gillard’s carbon price is the government’s main tool for reducing the country’s reliance on coal and meeting its target for a 5 percent cut in greenhouse-gases from 2000 levels by 2020. The levy will be fixed until 2015, when the nation will introduce a cap-and-trade system with a floor price of A$15 that lets companies buy and sell a fixed number of emissions permits.

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