New Zealand is likely to delay full implementation of its carbon trading scheme if there is no agreement on similar schemes in other developed countries, the government has announced.

The government said there would be no immediate changes nor any delay to the scheme.

Business groups have been putting pressure on the government to delay or soften the impact of the scheme.

Greens and some analysts say the scheme, the only national scheme outside Europe, is already too soft and won’t drive deep emissions reductions, reports Reuters.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said support measures, such as a fixed carbon price, that are due to expire in 2013, might be extended to protect the competitiveness of New Zealand businesses bound by the scheme.

A number of business groups this week lobbied the government for a reprieve of the transport, energy and industrial sectors, which account for about half of the country’s emissions, reports Reuters.