The Australian Governemt has announced that it will introduce a carbon tax and emission trading scheme. Advocates for and against have been claiming that other countries are not doing this and that Australia "will lead the world".

In fact, countries which already have a carbon tax include: Austria (on gas & electricity since 1996), Belgium (on petroleum and electricity since 1993), Costa Rica (1997), Denmark (1992), Finland (1990), Germany (1999), Ireland (2010), India (on coal production and import) (2010), Italy (1999), Netherlands (1990), New Zealand (2008), Norway (1991), South Africa (on vehicle emissions since 2010), Sweden (1991), Switzerland (2008), the UK (on vehicle emissions since 1993 and all energy since 2001) and three Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Colombia and Quebec).

France and Taiwan have committed to introducing a carbon tax and a European Union-wide carbon tax of €20 ($au26.40) is under consideration.

Countries which have emissions trading schemes include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and ten U.S. states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont).

And countries which have committed to introducing emissions trading include: China, Japan, South Korea, thirteen US states (Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec).

Those who claim that Australia is leading the world in this must be listening to Lao Tzu who said "To lead the people, walk behind them".