CANBERRA, Australia -- Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her government will decide next year how to charge Australia's major polluters for the carbon gases that they emit in a bid to curb the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

Gillard's plan to fast-track Australia's introduction of financial penalties for polluters comes hours ahead of a United Nations climate change summit in Mexico on Monday that will consider how the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be replaced after 2012.

Gillard told an economic think-tank on Monday she is confident that her government will decide next year how to make polluters pay for their emissions after a committee of lawmakers and experts reports.