Emissions trading scheme delayed

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the government’s emissions trading scheme will be delayed until 2011.

He has also cut the price of carbon from $40 to $10 for the first year of the scheme.

The Government has increased the range of its emissions reduction target to up to 25 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020, if an international agreement is made later this year in Denmark to keep global emissions under 450 parts per million (ppm).

It had already committed to a reduction of up to 15 per cent depending on the outcome of international talks.

The scheme was originally due to start next year but Mr Rudd says the changes are necessary because of the worsening global economic conditions.

“The worst global recession since the Great Depression means we must adapt our climate change measures, but not abandon them,” he said.

“Our objective of course is to provide business certainty for the future.”

Mr Rudd has also announced that households and businesses will be able to contribute to cutting Australia’s emissions through an Australian Carbon Trust comprising of an energy efficiency trust and an energy efficiency savings pledge fund.

Businesses will be encouraged to find ways to improve energy efficiency through the trust whereby the trust would pay for upfront for measures which a business could then pay back.

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