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Cameron applauds Aussie plan for massive HFC tax

A PROPOSED new tax could have a huge impact on the cost of refrigerants in Australia according to local air conditioning and refrigeration wholesaler Heatcraft. The plan which has been welcomed by the UK PM David Cameron, could see taxes in Australia of up to AUS$100/kg (63/kg) added to the price of HFCs.
Under a raft of measures, Australia's Climate Change Plan, announced on July 10 includes a carbon pricing mechanism covering four of the six greenhouse gases included under the Kyoto Protocol, with HFCs and sulphur hexafluoride facing an equivalent carbon price, which will be applied through existing synthetic greenhouse gas legislation.

High GWP gases will not be included in the carbon pricing mechanism but will be subject to an equivalent carbon price using existing import and manufacture levies under Australia's Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management legislation. Levies will be adjusted annually to reflect the prevailing carbon price.

The decision has met with strong opposition in Australia where the levy on HFCs would have a significant impact on prices. According to Heatcraft, The Climate Change Plan, which provides fixed carbon prices for the first three years of the scheme beginning in July 2012, could see a tax of AUS$98.09 (£63/kg) being added to a high GWP refrigerant like R404A in 2014. At current prices, the supermarkets' favoured refrigerant will cost in excess of AUS$115/kg (£73/kg) at current prices.

The levy, based on the refrigerant's GWP, would also add AUS$32.43/kg (£21/kg) to the price of R134a in 2012, rising to AUS$35.18 in July 2014. R410A would receive a carbon price of AUS$47.38 in July 2012, rising to AUS$52.32 (£33) in 2014.

David Cameron has congratulated his opposite number in Australia, Julia Gillard, reportedly describing the Climate Change Plan as a 'bold step'. In a letter to the Australian prime minister, Cameron said that Ms Gillard's government's climate change announcement sent a 'strong and clear signal that Australia is determined to make its contribution to address this challenge'.

The Australian Government's hopes its initiative will help the country to cut carbon pollution by 159 million tonnes a year by 2020.

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