IMF chief Christine Lagarde pushes for carbon tax that former PM Tony Abbott repealed

By @vitthernandez on
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde participates in an IMF-World Bank discussion titled 'Conversation on Climate Change' during the 2015 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Lima, Peru, October 7, 2015. Reuters/Paco Chuquiure

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard appears to be right, after all, in supporting the carbon tax during her term. The tax that her nemesis, ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, abolished as soon he came to power in 2013, is needed by governments.

No less than International Monetary Fund, or IMF, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said at the yearly meeting of the IMF in Lima, Peru, that a carbon tax would help fight global warming and boost government revenues, reports AFP.

She explained, “Finance ministers are looking for revenues. That’s the fate of finance ministers. But it’s particularly the case at the moment because many have already used their fiscal buffers … and are always in need of some fiscal buffers in order to fight the next crisis.”

Lagarde is aware that preference is higher for emissions trading system over a carbon tax which she believes would do a lot better. The IMF boss estimates that in industrialised nations, carbon tax could contribute to their funding target of $100 billion a year by 2020 to help the poorer nations fight the impact of climate change.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a report that globally, the shortage from the target was $38 billion.

Abbott made repealing the carbon tax in Australia, introduced in mid-2012 during Gillard’s term, as his campaign battlecry which led to the Coalition’s victory at the polls the following year. However, after he had repealed the creating the carbon tax in July 2014, Abbott was replaced in September 2015 by Malcom Turnbull.

The Guardian reports that according to Australia’s Climate Council, based on new data from consultants Pitt & Sherry, electricity emissions went up 4.3 percent after the Aussie parliament repealed the carbon tax law. It undid the 11 percent reduction in emissions when the tax was in place, reports AP.

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