National Post

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Australia won’t cap and trade
National Post

Seeing countries around the world back away from their climate change commitments, and seeing his own electoral support crumble, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that Australia will be shelving its cap and trade program for at least three years, until after the next election. “That will provide the Australian government at the time with a better position to assess the level of global action on climate change, » he told the Australian press.

In recent weeks, Rudd has been embarrassed by decisions by the US and Japanese governments to put climate change on the back burner and alarmed by the growing opposition at home to climate change legislation. His once popular plans to cut back emissions by 5% by 2020, which were scheduled to begin next year, have been twice rejected by Australia’s Senate faced certain defeat in a third vote that was expected in several weeks.

By scrapping next year’s cap and trade plan, the Rudd government – and the Australian public – will see benefits in the upcoming budget, expected May 11. With Australians no longer needing to finance the cap and trade program, budget watchers predict a saving of some $2.32 billion.