Australia delays carbon-trading scheme

May 4th, 2009 - 4:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Kevin Rudd Sydney, May 4 (DPA) Australia Monday postponed by a year the introduction of its proposed emissions-trading scheme, citing the slowing economy for the delay.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also slashed by one-third the proposed starting price of carbon to 10 Australian dollars ($7) a tonne.

“The worst global recession since the Great Depression means we must adapt our climate-change measures but not abandon them,” Rudd said when announcing that the scheme would now begin in 2011. “Our objective, of course, is to provide business certainty for the future.”

Rudd raised from 15 percent to 25 percent its target for reducing emissions on 2000 levels by 2020, but he reiterated that Canberra would only commit to this target if an international climate-change pact is sealed in December in Copenhagen.

Without a global agreement, Australia, which is the largest greenhouse-gas producer per capita in the world, would adopt a 5- to 10 percent target.

As well as softening the timetable, Rudd also announced a change that would allow cement, aluminium and other energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries to receive easier terms to join the scheme.

Those industries eligible for 60 percent free permits would get another 10 percent free for one year while those eligible for 90 percent free permits will get another 5 percent free for one year.

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