Last month the Federal Government announced that it had shelved its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, also known as the Emissions Trading Scheme or ‘ETS’, until 2013 at the earliest.
The ETS was to kick off in June 2011, and would have capped carbon prices at approximately $10 per tonne for the first year - leaving approximately 1,000 of the country’s largest emitters to pick up the bill.
The Prime Minister insists the government stands behind its original target to reduce the country’s overall emissions 5% on 2000 levels by 2020, and was recently quoted as suggesting:
“By the end of that period, governments around the world will be required to make clear their commitments for the post-2012 period…
…The Australian government at that time...will be in a better position to assess the level of global action on climate change…”
Decreasing support for an emission based tax coupled with a decreasing likelihood that a similar cap-and-trade bill will be passed in the US during 2010, and a worsening of the global economic situation, have been suggested as key reasons behind the government’s decision to wait until a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol is agreed.
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