In recent months the Australian Federal Government (the Labor party) has announced they will pursue the introduction of a carbon tax. For those that know nothing about this, this announcement will introduce a price (a tax) for each tonne of carbon pollution emitted. The idea behind this is that such pollution becomes an economic dis-incentive and hopefully those polluting will consider reducing their emissions because it hurts their back pocket (so to speak). The level that the carbon tax is set at will determine how much of a dis-incentive such pollution turns out to be (the higher the price the greater the incentive not to pollute).
Such taxes target large organisations but there will also be some impact on the average household as in this modern day we all have carbon emissions. However, given the government will be raising money through the introduction of such a tax such impacts on households hopefully can be evened out with the government promising to assist families through the transition and provide some buffers. Thus again, expressing the idea that the introduction is about reducing the incentive for big polluters/big business rather than impacting upon your average family.
The idea of a carbon tax shouldn't be a scary thing for the average Australian. Yes, there will be economic implications, but big business is smart. Obviously, if they can continue doing what they have always done it is the path of least resistance but if forced they will come up with alternatives and solutions to work around this issue and remain profitable. They always do. The large companies that are going to impacted upon potentially significantly are also usually highly diverse businesses. Their economic strategies will allow them to pursue alternative business models and business streams that previously may not have been heavily invested in and hopefully are better for the environment (with such incentives) and those that are most heavily taxed because they are significant contributors to carbon pollution will be reduced.
The world can't persist on its current path forever. The world will shut down without such drastic steps (both environment and economies). You have probably all heard the statement "there will be no economy, if there is no environment". This is certainly true and the government is starting to appreciate this. The introduction of the carbon tax is truly about providing our country with a future, one that we all want to be a part of. Subsidies for cleaner energy solutions, incentives for big businesses to involve and buffering families will hopefully all be part of the broader picture and assist us all through this transition period.