Down Under, carbon trading may about to go under – at least for now.
Citing the financial turndown, business groups are pressuring the Australian government to delay a carbon trading program until 2012. Australia’s program, which is to take effect July 2010, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least five percent by 2020 from 2000 levels.
The Australian Industry Group, which represents manufacturing, engineering and construction firms, wants the program delayed, saying higher carbon costs would strain business and the community.
Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said the government wants laws for carbon trading to pass through parliament by the end of June.
If it goes through, Australia’s plan would be the world’s broadest carbon trading program, covering three-quarters of the nation’s emissions and Australia’s 1,000-biggest firms.
A panel at Davos 2009 discussed the merits of carbon trading as a way to combat rising emissions. See the video here.