A detailed proposal for an economy-wide emissions trading scheme in Australia was tabled by the government in December 2008 with a proposed start date for mid-2010. The government proposes unilateral linking, with no initial bilateral linkages, through the clean development mechanism and joint implementation. The proposal has resulted in serious concern about significant permit price increases and price capping, leading to a ban on permit sales. This research paper evaluates the proposed Australian scheme in relation to international emissions trading and linkages. Different scenarios for the Australian permit price under unilateral linking are considered. Options for bilateral linking with the European Union and New Zealand schemes are also evaluated, including access to ‘hot air’ units. The research paper argues that Australia needs to dismantle linking obstacles, such as the price cap, and move towards suitable bilateral linking schemes.