November 8, 2011
SYDNEY — Australia passed its controversial pollution tax Tuesday in a sweeping and historic reform aimed at lowering carbon emissions blamed for climate change, after years of fierce debate.
Cheers and applause broke out as the Senate approved the Clean Energy Act by 36 votes to 32, requiring Australia’s coal-fired power stations and other major emitters to “pay to pollute” from July 1 next year.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it was the culmination of a “quarter of a century of scientific warnings, 37 parliamentary inquiries and years of bitter debate and division.”
“Today Australia has a price on carbon as the law of our land,” she said.
“Today we have made history — after all of these days of debate and division, our nation has got the job done.”