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Carbon tax effectively a population growth tax

A Michigan State University study has found that for each 1% increase in population, emissions increase by a bit more than a 1% increase in most nations. If Australia did not grow its population then by 2020 there would be almost no increase in carbon emissions. The Stable Population Party of Australia has called upon the Labor Government and the Greens to explain how their support for rapid population growth is consistent with attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – or admit it’s just green-wash.

The Stable Population Party was formally registered by the Australian Electoral Commission on 23 Sep 2010. The party will stand candidates in every state and territory at the next federal election.

"Carbon tax just abating emissions of six million extra people:" Stable Population Party

Australia’s record population growth of six million people (or 30%) from 2000 to 2020 makes Labor’s carbon emissions reduction target of 5% in the same period implausible and disingenuous.

In the lead up to World Population Day on July 11, a review of population growth and carbon emissions has confirmed a direct correlation. Michigan State University’s Thomas Dietz outlines in Nature Climate Change that, “Looking at most nations during the last few decades we find that for each 1% increase in population, we get a bit more than a 1% increase in emissions.”

Professor Bob Birrell of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University Monash agrees that population and carbon emissions are inextricably linked.

“In the absence of population growth to 2020, there would be very little growth in emissions in Australia, making it far easier to achieve the 5% reduction target, with or without a carbon tax. The current big Australia population growth means there’s virtually no chance,” said Professor Birrell.

Carbon emissions rise in line with population numbers

“Carbon emissions historically rise in line with population. What’s clear is that the government must first address the population question if it is to manage the carbon emissions issue. Increasing population whilst trying to cut carbon emissions is like trying to empty the bath with the tap running,” said William Bourke, Founder and President of the federally registered Stable Population Party.

He added that a 5% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 28.8 tonnes per head in 2000 to 27.3 tonnes per head in 2020 could have been achievable with or without a carbon tax. Now, however, due to record population growth of 6 million people (or 30%) from 2000 to 2020, Australia needs to reduce our per capita emissions to around 21 tonnes per head. This implies a 27% per capita decrease just to get a 5% total decrease.

"If 27% is anywhere near achievable, imagine what we could do with a stable population!" enthused Mr Bourke. He explained that a stable population is a basis of Europe’s 2020 target to at least 20% below 1990 emissions.

Imagine how much lower Europe's emissions will be than Australia's in 2050 after the European baby-boomers have died if Europe continues on its low immigration policy and Australia continues its high immigration policy.

“More people means more carbon emissions, and a carbon tax without real environmental gain," said William Bourke.

"Under the Labor/Greens scheme the carbon tax is effectively a population growth tax – and a zero-sum game. As one of the highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, it is critical that we play a role in stabilising our population and reducing our total emissions. The Stable Population Party supports action to reduce emissions and promote energy efficiency, but a stable population with a united global solution is vital. Without this we are simply exporting jobs."

Mr Bourke called upon Labor and The Greens to explain how their support for rapid population growth is consistent with attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – or admit it’s just green-wash.

“A stable population would help lower carbon emissions and ensure a more sustainable use of the Earth’s resources,"

he concluded.

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The average Australian on a per capita basis would emit about 28 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, based on the accredited Garnaut Review.

Green Labor's current national immigration policy of 190,000 per year, plus allowing for Hanson-Young's encouraged 7000 boat illegals p.a. at the current rate (2883 arrivals for 2012 to May) , plus allowing for visa overstays, so say Australia's net immigration is 200,000 per year.

This translates to Green Labor's immigration policy adds 5.6 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions per year (200,000 x 28 tonnes each).
"In the twelve months to June 2009, Australia’s emissions were an estimated 544 Mt CO2-e (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)."

So roughly, Green Labor's immigration policy systemically adds 1% of CO2 emissions per year. (5.6Mt/544mt).

Thus despite Green Labor's DECCEE site hyping: "The Australian Government is strongly committed to reducing Australia's carbon pollution... The plan to move to a Clean Energy Future will cut pollution by at least 5% compared with 2000 levels by 2020"

But its immigration policy adds 1% per year by 2020, that is a total of 20% by 2020.

So Green Labor's hype of 5% reduction is counteracted by 20% more from immigration. So by 2020, Australia will have an extra 15% CO2 emissions! And that doesn't factor in all the breeding over the next 20 years.

CONCLUSION: The Carbon Tax and CO2 Reduction efforts and costs are wasteful crap while immigration remains as it is.

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region