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The Environmental and Economic Impact of the Carbon Tax in Australia


  • Sam Meng


  • Mahinda Siriwardana


  • Judith McNeill



To fulfil its emission reduction target pledged in the Copenhagen accord, the Australian Government has determined to introduce a carbon tax from July 1st 2012. This paper simulates the effects on the environment and on the economy of a carbon tax of A$23 per tonne of carbon dioxide proposed by the government with, and without, a compensation policy. We employ a computable general equilibrium model with an environmentally extended Social accounting matrix. According to the simulation results, the carbon tax can cut emissions effectively, but will cause a mild economic contraction. Because the price signal is intact, the proposed compensation plan has little impact on emission cuts while significantly mitigating the negative effect of a carbon tax on the economy. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Meng & Mahinda Siriwardana & Judith McNeill, 2013. "The Environmental and Economic Impact of the Carbon Tax in Australia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(3), pages 313-332, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:54:y:2013:i:3:p:313-332
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9600-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Philip D. Adams & J. Mark Horridge & Brian R. Parmenter, 2000. "MMRF-GREEN: A Dynamic, Multi-Sectoral, Multi-Regional Model of Australia," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers op-94, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    7. Philip D. Adams, 2007. "Insurance against Catastrophic Climate Change: How Much Will an Emissions Trading Scheme Cost Australia?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 40(4), pages 432-452, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:jecstr:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40008-017-0091-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ramezani, Fariba & Harvie, Charles & Arjomandi, Amir, 2016. "Australian Emissions Reduction Subsidy Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235585, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Guo, Zhengquan & Zhang, Xingping & Zheng, Yuhua & Rao, Rao, 2014. "Exploring the impacts of a carbon tax on the Chinese economy using a CGE model with a detailed disaggregation of energy sectors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 455-462.
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:281-291 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Yingying Lu & David I. Stern, 2016. "Substitutability and the Cost of Climate Mitigation Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(1), pages 81-107, May.
    6. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2013. "Regional Effects in China of an Emissions-Reduction Policy: Tax v. Subsidy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1275, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Chen, Anping & Groenewold, Nicolaas, 2015. "Emission reduction policy: A regional economic analysis for China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 136-152.
    8. Jan Hagemejer & Zbigniew Żółkiewski, 2013. "Short-run impact of the implementation of EU climate and energy package for Poland: computable general equilibrium model simulations," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 44(3), pages 237-260.
    9. Carl, Jeremy & Fedor, David, 2016. "Tracking global carbon revenues: A survey of carbon taxes versus cap-and-trade in the real world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 50-77.
    10. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:45-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Samuel Meng, 2015. "Is the agricultural industry spared from the influence of the Australian carbon tax?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 125-137, January.
    12. Masoud Yahoo & Jamal Othman, 2017. "Carbon and energy taxation for CO2 mitigation: a CGE model of the Malaysia," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 239-262, February.


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