Australian Senate blocks emissions plan

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Australia's parliament rejected a plan for the world's most ambitious trade emissions regime yesterday, bringing the nation closer to a snap election.

The bill was aimed at reducing emissions in the biggest per-capita emitter in the developed world. But the government renewed its pledge to pass the scheme before a December UN meeting in Copenhagen, where world nations will try to hammer out a climate pact. If the Senate blocks the legislation again, it will hand Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a trigger for an early vote. Polls put him well ahead of the opposition.