Australia plans to scrap carbon tax, bring forward ETS scheme
CANBERRA, July 16 (Reuters) - Australia's government moved on Tuesday to scrap its carbon tax and bring forward an emissions trading scheme a year earlier than planned, a policy shift certain to be a focal point in an election likely to be held within weeks.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he wanted the fixed price on carbon emissions to end a year early, on June 30, 2014. A floating carbon price, which will be linked to the European carbon market, is to start the following day.
Rudd said the earlier shift will cost A$3.8 billion ($3.46 billion) over forward budget estimates.
But Rudd's new carbon plan cannot be legislated until after national elections, due between late August and November. The conservative opposition has promised to scrap the carbon price altogether if it wins the elections.
($1 = 1.0998 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Paul Tait)