The Australian government has delayed its proposed cap-and-trade scheme for regulating greenhouse-gas emissions (see Nature 458, 554–555; 2009).

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced on 4 May that, in order to "manage the impacts of the global recession", the system will be phased in from 1 July 2011, a year later than planned. Until July 2012, permits to emit carbon dioxide will be sold at a fixed price of Aus$10 (US$7.5) per tonne, and companies involved will be able to buy an unlimited number of them.

Rudd said he hopes to push the necessary legislation through parliament this year. He will also revise the upper limit on Australia's emissions-reduction target to 25% below 2000 levels by 2020, up from 15%, depending on agreements reached at December's UN summit in Copenhagen.