Plans for the world's most comprehensive carbon-trading scheme face defeat or parliamentary delay after Australia's opposition said on Tuesday it will try to postpone a vote on the laws this year.
The decision by the Liberal-National coalition during a party meeting adds uncertainty over the final shape and start date of the scheme. It also adds to the confusion on investment decisions for some big polluters trying to figure out future carbon costs.
Emissions trading is central to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's promise to fight global warming, but his government has been unable to find seven extra votes it needs in the Senate, where conservative opponents hold the largest bloc.
The government has already put back the start of the scheme by a year to July 2011 and eased costs for business after months of criticism.
The conservatives said they wanted to delay a vote on the laws, already before parliament, until after December talks in ...