7 Unexpected People Who Supported Australia’s Carbon Price

“Why not do it as a simple tax?”

The Australian government has *finally* scrapped its carbon tax, which had seen big companies pay about $25/tonne for emissions.

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The Federal Government was on track to embrace an Emissions Trading Scheme by July 2015.

Marcus Dibble / Via youtube.com
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The 2013 election of LNP leader Tony Abbott on an anti-carbon tax/ETS platform doomed the tax.

Channel 10 / Via youtube.com
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This may leave you thinking no-one is for the carbon tax or emissions trading… but that’s not so!

Lukas Coch / AAP / Via abc.net.au
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1. In 1990, Australia’s current Environment Minister Greg Hunt loved carbon pricing so much he wrote his thesis on it!

Greg Hunt

While studying at the University of Melbourne, 25-year-old Greg Hunt wrote a thesis laying out the academic argument for a carbon tax.

It was aptly called, “A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay”.

It includes the conclusion: “Ultimately it is by harnessing the natural economic forces which drive society that the pollution tax offers us an opportunity to exert greater control over our environment.”

Greg Hunt is now leading the charge to scrap the carbon tax.

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MTV / Via media.giphy.com
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2. Then there’s former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who in 2007 committed the Coalition to an Emissions Trading Scheme.

The LNP leader sensed climate change would be an issue at the 2007 election fought against Labor leader Kevin Rudd and announced the Coalition would also embrace an Emissions Trading Scheme:

“I’ll also be announcing a cap and trade emissions trading system that will help Australia substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost.”

The YouTube announcement also happened to be the very first video Mr Howard uploaded to the site.

He’s since supported the government’s decision to scrap the tax.

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Parkwood / Via media.giphy.com
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3. Oh wait… that’s Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in 2009.

Sky News / Via youtube.com

Before Mr Abbott started the “Axe the Tax” mantra that tore down the former Labor Government, he suggested a carbon pricing system remarkably similar to Australia’s current system:

“If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax… And then at the end of the year you can take your invoices to the tax office and get a rebate for the carbon tax you paid.”

It’s important to note Mr Abbott also asserted in the very same interview: “I think that climate change science is far from settled.”

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4. Then there’s New Zealand’s current conservative Prime Minister John Key holding a kitten.

NZPA / Ross Setford

New Zealand’s Prime Minister stood side-by-side with then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2011 and proudly talked-up the Kiwi ETS:

“What I can tell you about the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand is it’s worked. All of the applications for new electricity generation have been in the renewable space.”

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5. And the US state of California with former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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The sunny west coast state has the eighth largest economy in the world and also oeprates a cap and trade system, which sees companies encouraged to switch to low carbon emitting sources of energy.

The Republican Governor who led the push…. Arnold Schwazeneggar who called for the US Congress to take heed of new climate data:

“The first step for policy makers - and for ordinary citizens too - is to understand the situation we face… It’s our duty to pay attention.”

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6. What’s this? Masterchef Australia judge Gary Mehigan is a fan on acting on climate change.

Channel 10

The English-Australian chef was one of dozens of notable Australians who signed an open letter calling for action on climate change.

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Australians For Climate Action
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7. Plus there’s the 35% of the Australian public who don’t want the carbon tax scrapped.

#Newspoll Should PUP vote in the Senate to remove the carbon tax: Yes 53 No 35 #auspol

— GhostWhoVotes (@GhostWhoVotes)
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#ReachTEL Poll Repealing the carbon tax: Support 42.2 Oppose 35.9 #auspol

— GhostWhoVotes (@GhostWhoVotes)
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Lionsgate / Via media.giphy.com
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Farewell Carbon Tax! Let’s pretend the last few years never happened.

Spot the difference.

— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt)
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Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
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