A Karbon Kiddy Tax? Carbon Credits For Condoms?


Photograph:Kate Westawayfor the Guardian.

Today, Australia's new Prime Minister, with the ink barely dry from his signing, last week, of the country's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, touched down in Bali, Indonesia to join discussions on where the world's nations go after the protocol concludes in 2012. But Kevin Rudd won't be drawn on any new emissions reduction targets until an economic review is tabled before the government mid next year.

However, in the meantime, a rather striking proposal has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia. According to news reports Barry Walters, an associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia reckons that families opting for more than a defined number of children should be hit with a carbon tax. Conversely condom and sterilisation costs should be awarded carbon credits. Dr Jack Pezzey concurs with the general idea. A senior fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, figuring that population growth accounts for over half of the country's growth in energy-based emissions, says, "... if you want to control total emissions you cannot ignore total population growth. You simply have to admit that it's part of the problem."

Another backing the proposal is Garry Egger, an adjunct professor of health sciences at Southern Cross University in New South Wales. "Population control seems to have gone off the rails in the last 30 years," he said. "It's almost forbidden to talk about it these days. It's almost like smoking - you have to go out in the alleys to talk about it."

Yet, as of next year, the Australian Federal Government will be giving families a one off payment of $5,000 per new born baby. Dr Egger feels that after two children however, parents should be instead paying a carbon tax.

Via ::ABC Online

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