A report released by the federal government on Thursday estimated that Australia would need to import 100 million tonnes of carbon abatement to meet the country's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Australia aims to reduce by 5 per cent its emissions from 2000 levels and put in place a $23 per tonne carbon tax in July 2012 to help reach that goal. The tax is collected from the top 300 polluters which would eventually be allowed to link up with the European carbon market from 2015 wherein the emitters could use European allowance for up to 50 per cent of their carbon liabilities while European firms could use their Australian allowance by 2018.
The report said the carbon tax would help Australia cut down its emissions to 537 million tonnes from the average of 575 million tonnes logged between 2008 and 2012. It forecast that the country's GHG emissions would further decline to 396 million tonnes by 2030, of which 235 million tonnes of abatement would be sourced from overseas.
Australia relies on coal-fired power plants to generate about 80 per cent of the country's domestic electricity requirements. It is also blamed for causing global warning because Australia is a major coal exporter.
Power generation was responsible for 34 per cent of Australia's total emissions in 2011, followed by burning fuel at 17 per cent, transport 15 per cent and agriculture 14 per cent.
On a per capita basis, the report projects each Aussie's GHG emissions would fall down to 13 tonnes by 2030 from the current 25 tonnes.
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