Climate Changed

On July 1 the carbon tax will come into effect — hitting about 500 of the nation’s top polluters and triggering a complex web of indirect impacts. Bond University teams up with Crikey to work out what this will mean for Australia. What does a “green economy” look like, how it will work, and who will pay the price?

As part of a three-month investigation, 25 students waded through sustainability reports and Treasury documents, sifted through rhetoric and political spin and qualified their findings with researchers and industry experts. The results of their work will be rolled out on Crikey over the next few weeks…

Introduction: our investigation into the impact of the carbon tax
On July 1, the carbon tax will come into effect — hitting about 500 of the nation’s top polluters and triggering a complex web of indirect impacts. A three-month project by Bond University students attempts to demystify and depoliticise the issue, writes lecturer Caroline Graham.

Public transport: states duel over carbon tax impact
If the carbon tax raises the price of public transport and push people back into their cars, could it potentially defeat the environmental purpose? Natalie Lane looks at the projections.

Airlines: international environment taxes the real killer
Although the cost of flying could jump by 24% under a carbon tax, the impact on the domestic flight industry will be minimal in comparison to compounding taxes internationally, writes Crystal Landers.

Dairy industry: farmers worry about climate change, and costs
Treasury expects the price of milk will only rise by 1c a litre under the carbon tax, but the dairy industry believes that doesn’t reflect the true impact the scheme will have on farmers. Emily Gayton reports.

Beef industry: ‘we’re over-represented in polluter targets’
Australia’s largest meat-processing plant estimates additional costs of the carbon tax at $3.3 million a year. Alexandra Wood talks to beef producers and industry lobbyists about the impact.

Fashion: the environmental footprint of your favourite shoes
You think you’re an eco warrior every time you remember to take your green bags to Coles, but you still slip on those Gucci pumps. Your footprint may be more than a fashion statement, says Rosalie Taylor.

Retail: department stores worry, but consumers will come back
Retailers say they will have no alternative but to pass on increased costs to consumers, or be forced to cut staff, as running and manufacturing costs jump. But industry experts say the impact is overstated, writes Ava Phillis.

Steel manufacturing: high A$, not emissions, industry’s big concern
The major players in the Australian steel industry have more to worry about than a tax on emissions, with a strong Australian dollar and overseas competition squeezing production margins, writes Jake Kaiser.

Auto manufacturing: steel price hikes make new cars more expensive
The price of drive-away cars will increase by as much as $1000 under the carbon tax from July 1, the industry claims. Roza Haider examines local production figures from Holden and Toyota.

Paper manufacturing: you can’t see the carbon from the trees
Major distributor Australian Paper’s 21% reduction of carbon emissions intensity since 2007 hasn’t been enough to keep it off the list of 500 companies taxed for carbon use from June 1. Anita Nielsen reports.

Household costs: buying behaviour key to carbon impact
Consumers will have to change their buying behaviours for businesses to remain competitive when the carbon tax is implemented on July 1, according to one researcher. Caroline Kovac reports.

Media: Fairfax, News Ltd deal with higher energy bills
 The effect of the carbon tax on Australia’s media is not as obvious as the impacts on other industries. Emma Lago examines the cases of Fairfax and News Limited.

Construction: trickle down effects add to housing costs
Builders and other members of the construction industry are concerned about the trickle down effects of the carbon tax on suppliers and manufacturers. Karissa Straughen talks to the industry players.

Old energy: the renaissance of fossil fuels under the carbon tax
The fossil fuel sector isn’t hiding from a carbon tax. In fact, it’s planning a revival. Renewable energy is undermined by coal-powered operators finding ways to reduce emissions and increase efficiency, writes Philipp Rosskopf.

Sustainability reports: corporate ‘greenwashing’ from Misfortune 500
Composed by PR experts and designed by marketing pros, sustainability reports attempt to transform a corporate image from polluter to renewable advocate. But much of it is greenwashing, writes Sarah Ruggiero.

Education: carbon tax could hit Australia’s universities
Australian universities are preparing for steep increases in electricity and gas costs under a carbon tax. Universities say the tax could add millions to electricity bills across the nation. Bond University student Michael Dwyer reports.

Mining: national plan needed for future mines growth

While the carbon tax poses little immediate threat to the Australian mining industry, experts believe it is another constraint making Australia a less attractive investment prospect for foreign companies, writes Jack Harbour.

Mining: debate over true impact of carbon tax on mines

Australia’s mining giants have slammed the carbon tax, despite both government and union reps insisting it will have very little impact on industry operations. Callum Clayton-Dixon sorts fact from fiction.