Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter and by most measures the world’s most emissions-intensive industrialized country, officially passed its carbon price law. (The law met its most important hurdle in the lower house last month. Now it’s all but official after a vote in the upper house.)
The Australians seem to be doing many things right here. Lower-income households are more than compensated for the costs, but the law still creates the right incentives for most everyone. Most importantly, it follows rule #1: you pay for your own pollution.
This step may also be another indication of the theory that climate change does indeed need to hit home to want to do something about it. You just need to read title and subtitle of this excellent piece by Jeff Goodell to know what’s at stake: “Climate Change and the End of Australia—Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent”