Australia’s vast natural resources have created a reliance on coal, the country’s biggest export, and it currently has the highest per capita emissions in the developed world.

Prime minister, Kevin Rudd, put hopes of a carbon trading scheme on the backburner to 2011 from 2010 due to the ‘worst global recession since the great depression.’

The decision to delay the scheme means Australia’s emissions reduction target will be 5% of 2000 levels by 2020, with an option for a 25% cut only if global agreement is reached.

The scheme, which would make industrial polluters buy licences to cover the amount of carbon they admit, had previously been attacked by green groups as not strong enough.

But, business leader’s calls that it would hinder industry seem to have been taken onboard by the government.

Christine Milne, a Green party senator, spoke out about the move which she describes as a ‘sellout’, after other green groups backed it.

She said: “They have gone with a sellout and a browning down of the scheme, so of course I’m disappointed.”

Luke Walsh

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