My understanding is: Our contribution to global CO2 increases is very minor compared with other countries such as India, China and the USA. if the deterrent of a tax on carbon works swimmingly in this country it will likely make little difference to the increasing emission of CO2 perpetrated by the other countries. But a tax to which only Oz industries are subject will impair the ability of this country to compete and the lesser educated and skilled in our community will find it harder to get work because a nation wide aversion to producing carbon will send carbon productive industries, and hence jobs, offshore...to India, China and the USA. So there is unlikely to be an overall reduction in CO2 production on a global basis and yet we will wear the cost of the tax - including the loss of potential to value add to coal and iron ore mining by processing here, for instance. There is also the fact that the emerging (non low lying island) nations think it unfair that they're CO2 production should be capped since they have not had the chance to develop as we have: this suggests that there will be a race by these countries to pollute so they can catch up while the catching is good. So we will export jobs and capital without improving the globe's chances of survival. This will impact most heavily on those least able to afford it: the people who work in industries producing carbon and they, and the less well off, will be affected by rises in the cost of energy consequent on the tax The govts plan is to compensate them but that entirely destroy the only justification (as I understand it) for the tax, namely, the deterrent effect. Now I generally agree that faced with the present choice it would be better to limit CO2 production whether its the cause or not rather than wait for irrefutable proof by which time it will be too late. But if the proposed measure is not going to reduce CO2 emissions globally the question is a much more immediate one: Do we want to undertake a pointless costly exercise that is going to further widen the gap between the haves and the have nots? My view is no we do not. The only arguments to the contrary that i have heard is that we should show leadership: we are a small nation at the arse end of the world and we have nothing like the influence we think we have or even the recognition on the international stage.