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FED: Petrol exempted from climate fight

By Cathy Alexander
12 May 2009 7:37 PM
Subject: FED: Petrol exempted from climate fight FED: Petrol exempted from climate fight

CANBERRA, May 12 AAP - Petrol may be one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions but motorists won't pay to pollute for five years.

Petrol has been effectively excluded from emissions trading until 2014.

That means there will be no move to increase the price of petrol to dissuade people from using it for quite some time.

Emissions trading was due to start next year but has been pushed back until 2011; the budget has revealed petrol's three-year honeymoon.

More details have also been unveiled. Some households will get cash handouts and tax breaks to compensate for higher costs under emissions trading.

They won't get much in the first year, because the scheme has a soft start. Assistance will be ramped up from 2012 when a genuine carbon price kicks in.

"The overall increase in the cost of living will be modest," the budget promises.

There's good news for community organisations - they'll get extra money to improve their energy efficiency, to help them cope with higher costs under emissions trading.

The budget shows the government expects to earn $4.5 billion from the sale of carbon permits in 2011/12, and $13 billion the year after.

But it's reiterated its promise to funnel all the money back into compensation for businesses and households.

In fact, businesses will get assistance before they are forced to be a part of the ETS.

There will be $200 million available from 2009/10, and there's almost $3 billion in the compo kitty overall.

There's also an extra $1.1 billion in industry compensation over the first five years of the scheme, to compensate for the global economic recession.

The government says it will reduce emissions by "at least" 60 per cent by 2050, and says it will deepen the target if necessary.

It has promised to cut emissions by between five and 25 per cent by 2020, depending on what other countries do.

AAP ca/kms/jlw


FED: Petrol exempted from climate fight