INTRODUCTION OF CARBON PRICING AND IMPACT ON ABS PRICE INDEXES
On 1 July 2012, the Australian Government introduced a $23 per tonne carbon price on greenhouse emissions, to be paid directly by Australia's largest greenhouse gas emitting companies, together with compensation and incentive packages. Carbon pricing changes the relative prices of high and low emission-intensive goods. The extent that any carbon costs translate into general increases in prices depends on a range of factors. Carbon pricing will be occurring at the same time as normal variations in prices are occurring driven by productivity, the terms of trade or changing preferences. The extent to which businesses pass on the carbon price will depend on their consideration of issues such as operating costs, margins, and other economic factors (such as degree of competition).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released an Information Paper: Recording emissions reduction schemes in ABS statistics (cat. no. 5257.0.55.001) on 30 July 2012. This information paper summarises the nature of emissions permits measures introduced under the Clean Energy Act 2011, and how the ABS expects to include estimates of various carbon credit schemes in economic and environment statistics, commencing with the September quarter 2012.
The ABS will not be able to quantify the impact of carbon pricing, compensation or other government incentives and will not be producing estimates of price change exclusive of the carbon price or measuring the impact of the carbon price. Any changes in the prices charged by companies for their outputs, paid by companies for their inputs or paid by consumers, will be reflected in the suite of price indexes compiled and published by the ABS. Further information on the expected impacts of the introduction of carbon pricing is available in the publication Strong Growth, Low Pollution - Modelling a Carbon Price (The Treasury, 2011).