Greenhouse gas emissions: still trading after all these years

Power resources Australia

Against the background of declining support for in Australia for greenhouse gas emissions trading, this paper surveys recent emissions trading developments worldwide.

The former Rudd Government deferred the proposed emissions trading scheme, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme to at least 2013 due to the slow progress of global emissions control efforts and the political difficulty of gaining Senate approval for this scheme.

The current Australian government has, to date, promised no more than to work towards the introduction of a carbon price over an undefined time frame.

Judging by Australian actions and attitudes alone emissions trading schemes no longer seem the preferred method for dealing with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This trend was reinforced internationally with a number of comments in early 2010 proclaiming the ‘death’ of emissions trading.

In the wake of the recent US mid- term elections (with reduced numbers of Democrat members of Congress) President Obama has suggested that a cap-and-trade scheme is ‘just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way’ and that he is going to look for other ways of dealing with GHG emissions.

Against this rather gloomy background this Note surveys recent emissions trading developments and updates information presented in a previous Library Background Note from 2008.

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