Australia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt mandatory
emissions trading schemes as part of its emissions mitigation program. To date
there have been six states and one federal emissions mitigation schemes. Some
state schemes operate in conjunction with other states or the federal scheme
and some operate independently. This complex set of regulations and
requirements for emitters has led to a deficiency in nationwide coverage with no
firm target set for Australia. In July 2011 the Federal Labor Government
released details of a carbon tax proposal which was passed by the two houses of
Parliament by the end of 2011 and was introduced in July 2012. The Government
states that an emissions trading scheme will be introduced in 2015 with a
possible link to the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). This paper
provides a critical overview of Australian responses to climate change, with a
particular emphasis on the numerous emissions mitigation schemes.
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