First carbon permits issued

First carbon permits issued


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CARBON trading has officially begun in Australia, with the government yesterday issuing the first permits under its carbon price.

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CARBON trading has officially begun in Australia, with the government yesterday issuing the first permits under its carbon price.

Nearly three months since the scheme began, two companies have been given permits worth a total of nearly $150 million - aluminium firm Alcoa, and Queensland Nitrates, which supplies chemicals to the mining industry.

The issue of the permits is significant because it marks the point at which carbon permits start to be bought and sold among the roughly 300 companies that pay the carbon price.

Chloe Munro, the chief executive of the Clean Energy Regulator, which administers the carbon price, said issuing the permits was ''a very significant moment in the establishment of the carbon pricing mechanism''.

The companies can use the permits to cover the tonnage of carbon they emit. But crucially, if they reduce their carbon emissions, they can sell the leftover permits for a profit.

Alcoa, whose Geelong smelter recently won a government bailout amid concerns it could be forced to close, received just under 6 million permits, worth nearly $138 million at the starting price of $23.

Queensland Nitrates received 438,000 permits, worth just over $10 million.

The announcement means the carbon price is well under way, though opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt repeated the Coalition's vow to scrap the scheme as a first priority, branding it a ''carbon tax money merry-go-round''.

The story First carbon permits issued first appeared on Farm Online.

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