AUS-EU Carbon Price Link: 3 Years of Hurt in Store?
The announcement of Australia’s plan to link its carbon tax pricing scheme with that of the European Union’s in three years’ time has elicited a string of bitter reactions from various political parties and business councils who fear for the wellness of Australia’s business economy between now and 2015.
“Today’s announcement is an acknowledgement by the government and the Greens that the floor price in the emissions trading system starting in 2015 was flawed because it imposed an artificially high price and complexity that would add unnecessarily to business costs,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said in a statement released today.
“Removing the floor price and creating the opportunity to access international permits at a lower cost once emissions trading starts in 2015 improves the capacity for businesses to manage the impact of Australia’s carbon price, but only after enduring three years of unnecessary cost.”
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Originally, the Labour Government had proposed to introduce a $15 per tonne floor price to avoid shocking taxed businesses with a sudden price change, but that scheme has now been scrapped in favour of an inter-continental system.
"From July 1, 2015, Australia's carbon price will effectively be the same as that that operates in our second-largest trading bloc and effectively the same as that of 30 other countries and the same carbon price that will cover 530 million people," Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said in a media briefing.
What that means for businesses operating in Australia and the EU, according to Mr Combet, is that they will "be allowed to use carbon units from the Australian emissions trading scheme or the European Union Emissions Trading System for compliance under either system” with post-dated permits available for purchase from the European Market for use in 2015.
Under the previous scheme, Australia’s price-per-tonne of carbon emissions was expected to hit $29 by 2015 – a much higher figure than the $8-per-tonne that Europe is currently trading at, The Australian reported.
While that part of the new scheme has been well received, the timeline set out for the implementation of these changes could end up hurting Australia’s business economy.
“Fixing fundamental flaws in Australia’s future emissions trading system is important, but any comfort this provides to businesses will be tempered by the huge cost they will still face relative to their competitors and which they cannot offset or recover for the next three years,” said Ms Westacott.
For the Opposition party, scrapping the previous plan shows “a genuine pattern of chaos and confusion” within the Labour Government that began with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s 2010 campaign promise that she would not implement a carbon tax once elected.
"The government itself is setting up a hoax, a cruel hoax for consumers," Opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt told ABC Radio this morning.
Still, the plan does have some fans that see the light at the end of the three-year tunnel: “Business needs long term certainty ... the certainty of a regulatory framework,” Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox told SkyNews. “This is a positive move in the long term.”
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.