The southern state of Victoria is urging other Australian states to back its proposals for a national carbon trading scheme after the federal government failed to address the issue in its latest White Paper on energy. Although the scheme could go ahead without federal approval, all other states and territories would have to agree to adopt the programme in order for it to work, says Victorian premier Steve Bracks. Given that support, Bracks said, Victoria would establish an emissions trading system. Under the scheme, a cap would be established on each company’s total emissions and those companies that come in below the cap are then allowed to sell carbon credits to other companies that exceed their cap. The aim of the system is to push energy intensive industries to reduce their emissions and encourage investment in renewables. A government-commissioned study on the scheme sets out a best-case scenario in which electricity prices rise only 0.6 per cent between 2012 to 2025 and 3,200 new jobs are created. However, differences between coal-rich states like Western Australia and Queensland over policy could delay any national emissions trading scheme. NSW is the only state so far which has placed enforceable greenhouse gas targets, under the terms of which electricity retailers and other large users must reduce the emissions to 95 per cent of 1990 levels by 2007.