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Australian Senate rejects curbs on greenhouse gases

2009-08-14 14:44 BJT

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Australia's Senate voted on Thursday to reject government bills that would have curbed the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that the country emits.Climate Change Minister Penny Wong responding by saying the government would try again to push the bills through the opposition-controlled Senate later this year.

The move could trigger an early election. The government plan would institute a tax on industries' carbon emissions starting in 2011, placing a limit on Australia's overall pollution. The government wants to slash Australia's emissions by up to 25-percent below 2000 levels by 2020 that is if the United Nations can agree on tough global targets at a Copenhagen summit in December.

If the Senate rejects the bill twice in three months, Australia's constitution allows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to call a snap election before his three-year term has expired.