Australia committed to emissions trading despite protest

Australia committed to emissions trading despite protest

Australia committed to emissions trading despite protest

Updated 3 January 2012, 15:52 AEDT

Australia's Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says the government will not make significant changes to its emissions trading scheme.

The federal government has released draft legislation for its emissions trading scheme, but the minority opposition Greens' Climate Change spokeswoman, Christine Milne, says it proves the government is not serious about tackling the issue.

"The legislation is as thick as a Canberra phone book, but it's full of wrong numbers," said Ms Milne.

The opposition and cross bench senators are all pushing for major changes to the proposal.

Senator Wong says she is prepared to negotiate, but has stopped short of agreeing to significant amendments.

"We will continue to press for what we think is the right reform," said Ms Wong.

The government wants the legislation passed by mid-year, but the opposition coalition and Green Party will refer the scheme to a two-month Senate inquiry.

Protest

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, protesters have burned a copy of the proposed emissions trading scheme outside government offices.

Around 20 people gathered in the city holding placards and chanting their opposition to the proposal.

Louise Morris from conservation group Friends of the Earth says the scheme would be catastrophic for climate change.

She says the scheme doesn't recognise voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"The big polluters, the coal industry, aluminium industry, are actually going to be ablet o take up our hard work and pollute above and beyond what they're already polluting," said Ms Morris.