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Current International Update

Volume 44, Issue 25

REVIEW PANEL FINDINGS THREATEN AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLES INDUSTRY

Country: Australia

A government-appointed review panel has recommended that Australia drastically cut back its Renewable Energy Target (RET) program. The review reported that the program’s costs are “not justifiable” and recommended either closing the program to new investment or modifying it so that renewable power would make up just 50% of any future growth in electricity demand.

CHINA TO OFFER TAX BREAKS ON ELECTRIC CARS

Country: China

Last Friday, China announced that it will offer tax breaks on purchases of electric cars. Starting September 1, buyers of any of 17 models of approved vehicles will not have to pay sales tax. The tax break is the latest in a series of measures designed to promote all-electric and heavily electrified hybrid cars. Last year, China renewed a program through which buyers can receive subsidies of up to 60,000 yuan (US $9,767) for the purchase of all-electric cars, and last month the country ordered government officials to use more energy efficient cars.

CHILE SET TO PASS SOUTH AMERICA’S FIRST CARBON TAX

Country: Chile

Chile is set to become the first country in South America—and the second in Latin America after Mexico—to institute a carbon tax. The tax, which will go before the Chilean House of Representatives this week, would impose a $5 tax per ton of carbon dioxide starting in 2017. The measure is part of a broader package intended to reduce air pollution that also includes taxes on particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. The Chilean government hopes that the financial burden of using fossil fuels will encourage greater investment in renewable energy.