THE BIG PICTURE: Gas Taxes

After years of political wrangling, coal-rich Australia in November passed legislation that will require the nation’s top 500 polluters, starting in July 2012, to pay a tax at a fixed price of A$23 (US$23.50) per ton of carbon. The tax increases 2.5% annually until 2015, when an emissions trading program will begin. With the Kyoto Treaty set to expire at the end of this year, several governments have in recent years implemented similar measures on manufacturers and power companies. Others—like South Africa, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and France—have proposed or are considering taxes on carbon emissions. See the web exclusive story associated with this issue at https://www.powermag.com for an in-depth look at the world’s carbon taxes.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.