Gillard Says Australia to Review Carbon-Trading Legislation Plans in 2012

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her government intends to review plans for a carbon-trading system in 2012 and that setting a price for carbon is best done through the market.

“We will review in 2012 the nature of community consensus in Australia about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the progress internationally on pricing carbon and combating climate change,” Gillard, who became the nation’s first female prime minister after ousting Kevin Rudd last month, told Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s Lateline program yesterday.

Rudd in April shelved the so-called CPRS until 2012 amid opposition from lawmakers, almost four months after some 190 nations failed to agree on a binding greenhouse gas treaty at talks in Copenhagen. The proposal had aimed to cut emissions by 5 percent through an emissions-trading scheme. It would tax companies with high emissions such as energy, steel and cement producers and offset the charges with free emissions permits and financial compensation.

“The pricing of carbon I think is best done through a market-based mechanism, that is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, and the 2012 timeframe stands,” Gillard told the ABC late yesterday. “I believe the nation wants to reduce its carbon footprint, so we’ll be talking about that and speaking about what we can do in the lead up to a decision in 2012.”

Gillard’s Australian Labor Party doesn’t control the upper house Senate, which rejected the climate bill twice last year and again in February. The government needs support from either the Greens Party and two independent senators or from the opposition coalition to pass legislation.

Gillard has said national elections will be held this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gemma Daley in Canberra at gdaley@bloomberg.net

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