The Australian government yesterday risked the ire of environmental and carbon trading groups with the announcement that it is to delay its high-profile emissions cap-and-trade scheme by a year as a result of the recession.
Prime minister Kevin Rudd said that following intense lobbying from business leaders, the scheme, which was due to launch in July 2010, would now not come into effect until July 2011.
"The worst global recession since the great depression means we must adapt our climate change measures but not abandon them," he said.
He added that the government would also move to provide businesses with greater clarity around the costs of carbon trading by announcing a fixed price for carbon permits during the first year of the scheme of A$10 (£5).
In an attempt to appease green groups, Rudd hinted that despite the delay to the scheme the government would tighten planned caps on emissions should an international climate change deal be ...