In order to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the Austrian government has introduced a new carbon tax that is set to be fully implemented by July next year.
This means that Austrians will have 30 euros (around $35 USD) added to their consumer bills per ton of CO2. This cost will rise to 55 euros ($64 USD) per ton by 2025.
The government believes that the tax will generate five billion euros ($5.8 billion USD) by 2025, which will be returned to residents as an annual “climate bonus,” with the exact amount determined based on factors such as where they live (so that those in rural regions without the same access to good public transport aren’t penalized), and how many children they have. Children are allotted half their parents’ amount, which means that a family of two adults and two children in Vienna could expect to receive a climate bonus of 300 euros ($358 USD).
The aim of the tax is to make carbon-intensive choices more expensive as well as inspire people to choose more climate-friendly forms of transport and heating, but without adding to the overall tax burden.
Alongside the introduction of the carbon tax, the government also plans to reduce taxes for energy-intensive industries that will be the most affected by the new carbon tax. Plus, the governing coalition of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative People’s Party and the environmentalist Greens announced income tax cuts, a reduction in some health insurance charges, and other policies that are designed to benefit medium-and-low income communities.