Australian PM to price carbon pollution next year

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday her government would decide next year how to charge Australia`s major polluters for the carbon gases that they emit in a bid to curb the nation`s greenhouse gas emissions.

Updated: Nov 29, 2010, 08:57 AM IST

Canberra: Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Sunday her government would decide next year how to charge Australia`s major polluters for the carbon gases that they emit in a bid to curb the nation`s greenhouse gas emissions.

Gillard`s plan to fast-track Australia`s introduction of financial penalties for polluters came hours ahead of a United Nations climate change summit in Mexico starting today
that will consider how the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be replaced after 2012.

Australia and the United States had been the only industrialised countries to refuse to accept their Kyoto targets on reducing their carbon emissions until Gillard`s center-left Labor Party was elected to govern in 2007.

The new Labor government under then-prime minister Kevin Rudd immediately signed up to Australia`s reduction target, but Rudd this year shelved until 2013 his plan to make
polluters pay for permits to emit carbon gases.

Gillard, who replaced Rudd in an internal Labor coup in June before the party was returned at August elections to govern for another three years, said she was confident that
her government would decide next year how to make polluters pay after a committee of lawmakers and experts reports on the best strategy to do so.

"2011 is the year Australia decides on carbon pricing," Gillard told an economics think tank.

PTI