The Green community took a hit Thursday when Australian government repealed a carbon tax on the country’s worst greenhouse gas polluters, dubbed an “appalling day for Australia” by one of the tax’s supporters.
The Senate voted 39 to 32 to remove the 24.15 Australian dollar tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide, approximately $22.60 U.S. dollars, which was introduced July 2012.
This marks the first time a developed nation has repealed a carbon tax.
Australia is one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitters per capita, which averaged as high as 18.2 metric tons per person in 2009, because of the nation’s heavy reliance on coal for energy
Bill Shorten, leader of Senate members against the tax’s removal, lashed out against Prime Minister Tony Abbott, calling him an “environmental vandal.”
“Today, Tony Abbott has made Australia the first country in the world to reverse action on climate change,” Shorten told reporters. “History will judge Tony Abbott very harshly for refusing to believe in genuine action on climate change. Tony Abbott is sleepwalking Australia to an environmental and economic disaster.”
While the loss of the tax may have a large impact on the environment, there are still ways you can lower your carbon footprint in your daily life such as:
- Embracing better driving habits. Studies have shown around 30 percent of the difference in miles per gallon is because of poor driving habits. You can achieve better driving habits by accelerating slower and smoothly, driving the speed limit, maintaining a steady speed and anticipating your starts and stops.
- Lowering the number of car emissions by walking or riding a bike when possible. If you must use a vehicle for travel, consider using public transportation or carpooling with others.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs at home. These lights bulbs save more than 2/3 of the energy of a regular incandescent bulb and can save $40 or more over its lifetime.
- You can use websites such as energystar.gov to find energy efficient products and homes.
- ePlusGreen offers free technology which monitors and can help minimize energy uses of computers and office networks
- In the office, only use lights you need on and print only when necessary. Both can help improve your carbon footprint and save costs.
These are just some ideas and suggestions you can use to lower your carbon footprint in your daily life at work and at home. More suggestions can be found on carbonfund.org.
Reducing your carbon footprint can be a simple process as long as you put a little extra effort into your daily routine. Most ways of reducing even help you save money in the long run, meaning you essentially get paid to go green. With the options and information available, reducing your carbon footprint can be easily achieved.