Australia Rejects  IMF Carbon Tax & Preventing  4 Million  Pollution Deaths By 2030

us coal plants

An International Monetary Fund  (IMF) report on climate change mitigation  advocates a Carbon Tax of $75 per ton of CO2 by 2030 that, if progressively implemented in the G20 countries alone, would prevent an estimated 4 million air pollution deaths by 2030. However the effective climate change denialist Coalition Government  of Australia, a G20 country that is  among world leaders in 15 areas of climate criminality, has flatly rejected a global Carbon Tax. If all G20 countries followed Australia’s rejection of a global Carbon Tax then they would be complicit in an unconscionable Climate Genocide and Climate Holocaust killing 4 million people  over  the next decade.

Here are the key findings of the IMF report on climate change mitigation (September 2019):  “Global warming is threatening our planet and living standards around the world, and the window of opportunity for containing climate change to manageable levels is closing rapidly. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a key driver of this alarming trend. Fiscal policy has an important role to play…

Action to date has been inadequate. The 2015 Paris Agreement goes in the right direction, but the commitments countries have made fall well short of those needed to limit global warming to the level considered safe by scientists—2°C, at most, above preindustrial temperatures. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether countries are reducing emissions as agreed. The longer that policy action is delayed, the more emissions will accumulate in the atmosphere and the greater the cost of stabilizing global temperatures—let alone of failing to do so…

Limiting global warming to 2°C or less requires policy measures on an ambitious scale, such as an immediate global carbon tax that will rise rapidly to $75 a ton of CO2 in 2030. Under such a scenario, over 10 years electricity prices would rise, on average, by 45 percent cumulatively and gasoline prices by 15 percent, for households, compared with the baseline (no policy action). The revenue from such a tax (1.5 percent of GDP in 2030, on average, for the Group of Twenty [G20] countries) could be redistributed, for example, to assist low-income households, support disproportionately affected workers or communities (for example, coal-mining areas), cut other taxes…

The shift from fossil fuels will not only transform an economy but also profoundly change the lives of households, businesses, and communities. Importantly, the shift would generate additional and immediate domestic environmental benefits, such as lower mortality from air pollution (725,000 fewer premature deaths in 2030 for a $75 a ton tax for G20 countries alone). Businesses that deploy new technologies would earn profits and create jobs, which in the renewables sector already reached 11 million globally in 2017…

Some advanced and emerging market economies already use carbon taxes and emission trading systems, but insufficiently. Indeed, the average price on global emissions is currently $2 a ton, a tiny fraction of what is needed for the 2°C target. An early start to reinforce the Paris process could be made through a carbon price floor arrangement among countries with the largest emissions…” [1].

The IMF’s assertion of “725,000 fewer premature deaths in 2030 for a $75 a ton tax for G20 countries alone” means (assuming that such a Carbon Tax could be rapidly implemented by all the G20 countries)  that lives saved in  the period 2020-2030  would average 725,000/2 = 362,500 lives saved per year,  and thus would total 362,500 lives per year x 11 years = 4.0 million lives saved (2020-2030).

However in response to the Australian ABC query “Would Australia accept a global Carbon Tax?” the Australian Coalition Government  simply and emphatically replied “No” [2, 3].

If all of the G20 followed Australia’s example then they would be complicit in a Climate Genocide in which 4 million people would die prematurely from carbon pollution in 2020- 2030. Presently each year 8 million people die from air pollution (World Health Organization, WHO) [4, 5], this  including  about 10,000 Australians and 75,000 dying from the effects of pollutants from the burning of Australia’s world leading coal exports [5].

This adumbrated 4 million Climate Genocide carnage  should be considered in relation to other genocidal atrocities – it is of the same order as the carnage of the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million deaths from violence or imposed deprivation) [6, 7] and the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians starved to death for strategic reasons by the British  with Australian complicity) [8-22] but about 10 times smaller  than deaths in the WW2 European Holocaust  (30 million Slavs, Jews and Roma killed) [12],  the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million Chinese killed under the  Japanese, 1937-1945) [12, 23] and 40 million Asian deaths  from violence or imposed deprivation in Australian Coalition-backed,  post-1950 US Asian wars [12].

It gets worse when one considers climate change-related deaths. It is estimated that about 1 million people die from climate change per se each year [24] but this may be an underestimate because 15 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation in the variously tropical and/or sub-tropical Developing World (minus China) that is disproportionately badly impacted by climate change [12]. Further, a variety of scholars from climate scientists  to demographers predict a sustainable human population of only 0.5-1.0 billion by 2100, this implying a Climate Genocide involving  about 10 billion deaths  this century if climate change  is not requisitely dealt with [25, 26].

Australia’s ongoing commitment to war crimes and climate crimes.

Australia is among leading countries in 15 areas of climate criminal activities: (1) annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution, (2) methanogenic livestock exports,  (3) natural gas exports, (4) recoverable shale gas reserves that can be accessed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), (5) coal exports, (6) land clearing, deforestation and ecocide, (7) speciescide or species extinction, (8) coral reef destruction , (9) whale killing  and extinction threat through global warming impacting on krill stocks, (10) terminal carbon pollution budget exceedance,   (11) per capita Carbon Debt, (12) ultimately GHG generating iron ore exports, (13) climate change inaction,  (14) Climate Genocide (its coal exports ultimately kill 75,000 people per year), and (15) increasing GHG pollution post-Paris (contrary to the Paris demand to decrease GHG pollution) [25].

Thus, for example,  in 2018 Australia ranked 57 out of 60 countries for climate change action (only South Korea and Saudi Arabia were worse) [27]. Annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in tonnes CO2-equivalent  per person per year (and taking land use into account)  is as follows for Australia and some other countries (2016): Australia (52.9; 116 if including its huge GHG-generating  exports), United States (41.0), China (7.4), and India (2.1) [28]. Australia with 0.3% of the world’s population is responsible for 4.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (with Australia’s exported GHG pollution included).

Australia’s “No!” to a global Carbon Tax means an obscene commitment to a 4 million victim Climate Genocide over the next decade. The Australian Coalition has made it absolutely  clear that it is opposed to a Carbon Tax. However the Labor Opposition, reeling from an unexpected election defeat in May 2019, remains silent. Indeed the right-wing Labor Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, has put the cat among the pigeons by urging that Labor should pragmatically go soft on climate change action and adopt a pollution reduction  position closer to that of the climate criminal Coalition Government in order to increase its electoral appeal [29].   Labor promised before the May 2019 election  to cut economy-wide emissions by 45% on 2005 levels by 2030 whereas the  Coalition’s target is a miserable 26-28 % cut, with both involving offsetting emissions by the manipulative trick of purchasing international credits (e.g. from non-destruction of rain forests in the Developing World) [30]. The Australian Coalition Government and Labor Opposition have a common climate criminal policy of indefinite export of coal,  gas, iron ore and methanogenically-derived meat.

Australia’s being among world leaders in 15 areas of climate criminality make it disproportionately complicit in a worsening Climate Genocide that, in the absence of requisite action, is expected to kill 10 billion people this century en route to a sustainable world population in 2100 of merely 0.5-1.0 billion people [25, 26]. However Australia is notorious for its 2-century Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal  Ethnocide (2 million Indigenous deaths from violence, 0.1 million,  or imposed deprivation; of 350-750 Indigenous  languages and  dialects only 150 remain and of these all but 20 are endangered) [31]. As UK or US lackeys, Australians have invaded 85  countries (as compared to the British 193 countries, France 82, the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25,  Apartheid Israel 12 and China 2) [32, 33],  and of these invasions 30 were genocidal as defined by the UN Genocide Convention [34].  Australia as part of a US Alliance continues to occupy Afghanistan in gross violation of the UN Genocide Convention and the Geneva Convention [35]. Through its joint US-Australia Pine Gap electronic spying base US lackey Australia  plays a key role in US nuclear terrorism [36] and in the targeting of war criminal US drone strikes in 7 countries [37-39]. The Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition (aka the Lib-Labs) endless proclaim “Australian values” but it would appear that genocide is a core White Australian value,  from the post-1788 British invasion Aboriginal Genocide to the presently  worsening Climate Genocide.  Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, atrocities associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or imposed deprivation [12] – the US lackey Coalition backed all of these vile wars and US lackey Labor backed all but 2 (the Vietnam War and the Iraq War).

About 10,000 Australians die each year from air pollution  and 200,000 have died thus this century [5]. However this is just the tip of an iceberg of Australian preventable deaths. The Stupidity, Ignorance and Egregious Greed (SIEG as in Dr Strangelove and “Sieg heil”) of successive neoliberal Lib-Lab Australian  governments has made them  complicit in the preventable deaths of 1.7 million  of their fellow Australians this century. Thus each year about 85,000 Australians die preventably from “life style” and “political  choice” reasons, the breakdown (including some overlaps) being as follows:  (1) 26,000 annual Australian deaths from adverse hospital events, (2) 17,000 obesity-related Australian deaths,  (3) 15,500 smoking-related Australian deaths, (4) 10,000 carbon burning pollution-derived Australian deaths, (5). 4,000 avoidable Indigenous Australian deaths, (6). 5,600 Australian alcohol-related deaths, (7) 2,900 Australian suicides (circa100  being veterans) , (8) 1,400 Australian road deaths, (9) 630 Australian opiate drug-related deaths with 570 linked  to US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry, and (10) 300 Australian homicides (80 being of women killed domestically) [40-43].

Final comments.

The IMF has proposed a Carbon Tax rising rapidly to “$75 a ton of CO2 in 2030” in order to keep global warming to less than a catastrophic plus 2C  [1]. Crucially the IMF  states that this will “lower mortality from air pollution (725,000 fewer premature deaths in 2030 for a $75 a ton tax for G20 countries alone)”. However it must be noted that Dr Chris Hope (of  90-Nobel-Laureate University of Cambridge) has determined a damage–related Carbon Price for Europe of $200 per tonne CO2 [44].

Presently annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution totals 63.8 billion tonnes (70.3 billion tons) CO2-equivalent (taking land use into account and a global warming  potential  for methane based on a 20 year time frame) [45].   Thus the annual value of a Carbon Tax would be about  $5.3 trillion (IMF) and $12.8 trillion (Hope). By way of comparison, the world nominal GDP in 2019 was projected to be $88 trillion [46].

By way of further comparison, many scientists  consider that we must return the atmospheric CO2 to about 300 ppm CO2 for a safe and sustainable planet for all peoples and all species [47, 48]. Lowering the atmospheric CO2 from the present 410 ppm CO2 to a requisite  300 ppm CO2 would mean removing 110 ppm CO2 x 7.8 billion tonnes CO2 per ppm CO2 = 858 billion tonnes CO2 i.e. a Carbon Debt of 858 billion tonnes CO2. Assuming a damage-related Carbon Price of US$200 per tonne CO2-equivalent [44], this corresponds to a Carbon Debt of $172 trillion [49, 50].

The bottom line is that we must pay the true cost of the goods and services we buy through mandatory  incorporation of “externalities” into prices. Thus even the social conservatives  Pope Francis I and  Pope Benedict XVI  have clearly stated: “Yet only when the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations, can those [economic] actions be considered ethical” [51, 52]. Unfortunately, the mendacious and politically dominant neoliberal  One Percenters  refuse to pay for these “economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources” and are  happy to exploit  and pollute Humanity’s common assets of the air, the ocean and the environment for free.

I have translated the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics, to whit, (1) conservation of energy, (2) entropy (disorder, chaos, lack of information content) increases to a maximum, and (3) zero motion at Absolute Zero,  to Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics, to whit (1) Profit = Price minus Cost of Production, (2) Deceit about Cost of Production increases to a maximum, and (3) no life, work, price or profit on a dead Planet [53]. This massive  neoliberal deceit over the true Cost of Production illustrates Polya’s  Second  Law of Economics,  and the result is increasingly disastrous for Humanity and the Biosphere.  The damage is already so severe as to demand that negative carbon emissions, negative population growth and  negative economic growth are needed  to save the planet [54].

In response to the worsening Climate Emergency  the IMF has issued what is actually a very modest moral challenge to the prosperous countries of the G20 –  rapidly and progressively introduce a  big Carbon Tax to tackle climate change or become complicit in 4 million pollution deaths in the coming decade. Climate criminal Australia has immediately  said “no” – how will the other G20 countries respond?  The world is waiting.

What can decent people do in the face of this worsening Climate Emergency? Decent people must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians  parties, countries, collectives and corporations disproportionately involved in the worsening Climate Emergency that already kills about  1 million people each year.


[1]. International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Fiscal Monitor: how to mitigate climate change”. Executive Summary”, September  2019: file:///C:/Users/Gideon/AppData/Local/Temp/execsum-6.pdf .


[2]. Paul Karp, “Josh Frydenberg rejects IMF report that Australia will fail to meet Paris target”, Guardian, 11 October 2019: .

[3]. Josh Frydenberg,” Interview with Sabra Lane, AM, ABC Melbourne”, Josh Frydenberg, 11 October 2019: .

[4]. World Health Organization (WHO), “Air pollution”: .

[5]. “Stop air pollution deaths”: .

[6]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969.

[7]. Martin Gilbert “Atlas of the Holocaust”, Michael Joseph, London, 1982.

[8]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: .

[9]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, now available  for free perusal on the web:  . 

[10]. Madhusree Muckerjee, “Churchill’s Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” (Basic Books, New York, 2010).

[11]. “Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Bengal Famine) writings of Gideon Polya”, Gideon Polya: .

[12]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, this including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and now available for free perusal on the web: .

[13]. Colin Mason, “A Short History of Asia . Stone Age to 2000AD” (Macmillan, 2000).

[14]. Bengal Famine, BBC radio broadcast series “The things we forgot to remember”, 2008: .

[15]. Paul Greenough’s “Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-1944” Oxford University Press, 1982.

[16]. Thomas Keneally, “Three Famines”, Vintage House, Australia, 2011.

[17].  Gideon Polya, “Economist Mahima Khanna, Cambridge Stevenson Prize And Dire Indian Poverty”, Countercurrents, 20 November, 2011: .

[18].  Cormac O Grada. “Famine a short history” (Princeton University  Press, 2009).

[19]. J. Dreze  and Amartya Sen “Hunger and Public Action”, Clarendon, Oxford, 1989.

[20]. N.G. Jog,  “Churchill’s Blind Spot: India ”, New Book Company, Bombay, 194).

[21]. A. Sen, “Famine Mortality: A Study of the Bengal Famine of 1943” in Hobshawn, E. (1981) (editor), “Peasants In History. Essays in Honour of David Thorner” (Oxford University Press, New Delhi).

[22]. T. Das, “ Bengal Famine (1943) as Revealed in a Survey of Destitutes of Calcutta” (University of Calcutta, Calcutta).

[23]. “Backgrounder: China ’s WWII contributions in figures”, New China, 3 September 2015: .

[24]. Damian Carrington, “Save millions of lives by tackling climate change, says WHO”, Guardian, 6 December 2018: .

[25]. Gideon Polya, “Millions join Global School Climate Strike – we are running out of time”, Countercurrents, 22 September 2019: .

[26]. “Climate Genocide”: .

[27].  Climate Watch Performance Index, “Results  2018”: .

[28]. Gideon Polya, “Revised Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution For All Countries – What Is Your Country Doing?”, Countercurrents, 6 January, 2016: .

[29]. Katharine Murphy, “Labor MPs condemn suggestion they adopt Coalition climate  change policy”, Guardian, 14 October 2019: .

[30]. Phillip Coorey and Ben Potter, “Labor carbon policy relies on global credits: Greens”,  Australian Financial Review, 8 April 2019: .

[31]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: .

[32]. Gideon Polya, “As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80, US 70)”, Countercurrents, 9 February, 2015: .

[33]. “Stop state terrorism” : .

[34]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” Ignores  Australian Involvement In 30 Genocides”, Countercurrents, 14 October, 2013: .

[35]. Gideon Polya, “China’s Tibet health success versus passive mass murder of Afghan women and children by US Alliance”, Global Research, 7 January 2018: .

[36]. “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty and reverse climate change”: .

[37]. Philip Dorling, “Australian intelligence “feeding data” for deadly US drone strikes”, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 2014: .

[38]. Mark Corcoran, “Drone strikes based on work at Pine Gap could see Australians charged, Malcolm Fraser says”, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 2014: .

[39]. John Stapleton, “Australia’s dirty secret”, UNSW Canberra, 4 December 2015: .

[40]. Gideon Polya, “Horrendous Cost For Australia Of US War On Terror”,  Countercurrents, 14 October, 2012: .

[41]. Gideon Polya, “ Australian state terrorism (4). Jingoistic, US Lackey Australia’s Deadly Betrayal Of Its Traumatized Veterans”, Stop state terrorism, 2018: .

[42]. Gideon Polya, “Advance Australia Fair” Hides Australian Racism, Theft, Genocide, Ecocide, Speciescide & Terracide”, Countercurrents, 1 July 2019: .

[43]. “Exposing Australia”: .

[44]. Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 2011:  .

[45].  Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: .

[46]. World Population Review, “GDP ranked by country 2019”: .

[47]. .

[48]. “ – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm CO2”:—return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .

[49]. “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: .

[50]. Gideon Polya, “Huge Carbon Debt and intergenerational injustice: CO2 drawdown necessity”, Global Research, 7 June 2018: .

[51]. Gideon Polya,  “Green Left Pope Francis Demands Climate Action “Without Delay” To Prevent Climate “Catastrophe””, Countercurrents, 10 August, 2015: .

[52]. Gideon Polya, “Pope decrees full Carbon Price”. MWC News, 28 July 2015: .

[53].  Gideon Polya, “Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics expose deadly, dishonest  and terminal neoliberal capitalism”, Countercurrents,  17 October, 2015: .

[54]. Gideon Polya, “How much negative carbon emissions, negative population growth & negative economic growth is needed  to save planet?”, Countercurrents, 28 November 2018: .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:   ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and  .




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