The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bills a second time.
This means that the members have agreed to the main idea of the bills and will now discuss them in detail.
The seven bills are:
- Clean Energy Amendment (International Emissions Trading and Other Measures) Bill 2012
- Clean Energy (Charges - Excise) Amendment Bill 2012
- Clean Energy (Charges - Customs) Amendment Bill 2012
- Excise Tariff Amendment (Per-tonne Carbon Price Equivalent) Bill 2012
- Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Per-tonne Carbon Price Equivalent) Bill 2012
- Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment (Per-tonne Carbon Price Equivalent) Bill 2012
- Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge - Auctions) Amendment Bill 2012
Background to the bills
The seven bills are designed to link Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism to overseas emissions trading schemes from 1 July 2015, which is when the Australian carbon pricing mechanism is scheduled to transition to an emissions trading scheme.(For more information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works, please see the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.)
This means that Australian "liable entities" (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases) will be able to trade carbon units with credible overseas emissions trading schemes such as the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Such businesses will be able to use eligible international carbon units to meet up to 50 per cent of their annual liability.