"CANBERRA, Australia — The Australian Parliament created landmark new laws Thursday that will make the nation’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters reduce their emissions or pay for carbon credits.
The center-left Labor Party administration said the so-called Safeguard Mechanism reforms are essential to Australia reaching its target of reducing its emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Set to take effect July 1, the reforms create a ceiling on the nation’s emissions and force Australia’s 215 most polluting facilities to reduce their emissions by 4.9% a year or reach the target with carbon credits.
The laws create Australia’s first price on carbon since a former Labor government created a carbon tax in 2012. A conservative government repealed that tax in 2014 and has since rejected any climate policies that would make polluters pay."