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Australia's opposition rejects carbon tax claims

CANBERRA, July 15 — Australia's federal opposition has refuted claims that it would reintroduce a controversial carbon tax if re-elected, saying leaked documents obtained by local media were "misleading".

Opposition Environment Minister Mark Butler declared on Wednesday that Labor would not re-introduce the carbon tax, but admitted his party was "developing" a policy which would likely include an emissions trading scheme.

"Australians know that climate change is real and Labor is currently developing our policy to meet this global challenge," Butler said in a statement.

"Labor will not introduce a carbon tax."

The leaked documents acquired by News Corp on Wednesday revealed that Labor had drafted new plans for a "modified" carbon tax as well as other new taxes.

It also hinted that Labor was planning to introduce emissions standards for new motor vehicles, which would boost the cost of a new car in Australia by up to USD 1,200.

Butler said the obtained documents were misleading, and that it was not an accurate policy document.

The carbon tax was introduced by the Gillard Labor government in 2012, and charged major industrial emitters 23 Australian dollar per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

An Australian National University report estimated that Australia's emission dropped by 17 million tons, the "biggest annual reduction" in greenhouse emissions in 24 years of records.

It was cut by the Abbott government last year.(PNA/Xinhua)

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