The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will be delayed by one year to give Australian businesses more time to deal with the global recession, announced Minister for Climate Change and Water Penny Wong. Wong also put forward changes to the original scheme, including:
- A one year fixed price phase where each carbon pollution permit will cost $10. From 1 July 2012, businesses will need to purchase permits at the prevailing market price.
- A new Global Recession Buffer to assist emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries.
- Funding for eligible businesses to undertake energy efficiency measures in 2009-10 as part of the Climate Change Action Fund.
The move has the support of business and environmental organisations such as the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Climate Institute and the World Wildlife Fund, but has angered the Greens. The new version of the scheme delivers another $2.2 billion to big polluters, said Australian Greens deputy leader, senator Christine Milne, and contains "an almost irrelevant green distraction of a hypothetical 25 percent target to undermine criticism". The new version is weaker, which means "no new jobs and new industries ready to employ those workers who will lose their jobs", she said.