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Australia ditches carbon trading plans

Ecologist

27th April, 2010

Carbon trading plans were opposed by conservative politicians and criticised by environmental groups for containing loopholes for industry

Australia has given up on plans to introduce a cap-and-trade scheme that would have cut carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020 ahead of national elections later this year.

The country has some of the world's highest per capita carbon emissions after middle eastern countries and is heavily dependent on coal.

The current prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who was elected in 2007 on a promise of reducing Australia's greenhosue gas emissions, has seen his proposals for a emissions trading scheme repeatedly rejected.

As well as strong opposition by the Liberal Party, the Green Party also voted against the plans in December 2009.

The Greens said the scheme allowed industry to buy carbon credits from overseas to offset their emissions and as such would not necessarily have seen any domestic emission cuts.

Rudd said that his party would not re-introduce any plans for carbon trading before 2012, in order to 'provide the Australian government at the time with a better position to assess the level of global action on climate change'.

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