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Emission reduction policies and carbon prices in key economies

Commissioned study

This study has concluded. The final report was sent to government on 31 May 2011 and released on 9 June 2011. A supplement to this report was released on 16 December 2011.

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a study on the effective carbon prices that result from emissions and energy reduction policies in Australia and other key economies.

Effective carbon prices include both explicit carbon prices from emission taxes and tradeable permits, and the implicit prices of other measures, such as direct regulation of technologies, renewable energy targets, or subsidies for low emissions technology.

The Commission was to:

  • examine and detail key emissions reduction policies either in place or committed in Australia and other key economies, such as the UK, USA, Germany, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea
  • estimate the effective carbon price per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) faced by the electricity generation sectors in these economies, and selected industries drawn from manufacturing and transport sectors in these and other countries where relevant and data permitting
  • report on the methodology, assumptions and data sources used, so as to inform further analysis in this area.

In conducting the study, the Commission was to:

  • consult with the business sector, government agencies and other interested parties as appropriate in Australia and internationally
  • draw on credible evidence both nationally and internationally, including by utilising local research expertise in economies being examined.