Australia's Julia Gillard government has introduced a new carbon tax from 1 July amid stiff resistance from the opposition and business groups, aiming to cut the country's carbon emissions by 5 per cent by 2020.
Through the introduction of the new tax, Australia joins several other countries that have implemented carbon taxes or energy taxes in relation to carbon emissions.
The country's coalition Labour government says putting a price tag on pollution is the best way to dissuade polluting entities from emitting greenhouse gases.
The carbon pricing in Australia applies to nearly 300 of the country's largest entities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually including world's largest miner BHP Billiton, the country's largest power generator Macquarie Generation etc.
During the first three years beginning 1 July 2012 the pricing will be set by the government, beginning with A$23 per tonne of carbon dioxide which will increase by around 5 per cent annually. From 1 July 2015, it will be changed to an emission trading scheme which will be controlled by the Clean Energy Regulator, and the pricing will be set by the market.
Thousands of people marched the streets of Sydney yesterday to protest against the new carbon tax.