15 November, 2013

Cleaner Environment Plan

The Australian Government's new Cleaner Environment Plan forms an umbrella policy framework for a four pillar approach to National Environmental Management.

·       Clean Air,
·       Clean Water,
·       Clean Land,
·       National Heritage

Clean Air outlines the Australian Government’s aspirations to reach its emissions reduction target (of 5% of Y2000 levels by Y2020) through the Direct Action Plan. 

The new Federal Government has changed Australia's response to climate change from a financial issue (through a liability for a price on carbon emissions) to an Engineering problem.  The Coalition Government seeks to source low cost emissions reductions and improve Australia's environment. This will be done primarily through the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The Emissions Reduction Fund is a central element of the Australian Government's Direct Action Plan. The Fund will provide financial incentives for emissions reduction activities across the Australian economy.

Some of the activities which may receive incentives for abatement activities include:

  • re-vegetation and land management
  • soil carbon
  • forestry
  • energy efficiency
  • recycling
  • cleaning up power stations
  • cleaning up waste coal mine gas
  • cleaning up landfill.

The Government invites public comment on Terms of Reference on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund by 5pm (AEDT) Monday 18 November 2013.

The Government is seeking business and community views on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund including:
·         the likely sources of low cost, large scale abatement to come forward under the Emissions Reduction Fund;
·         how the Emissions Reduction Fund can facilitate the development of abatement projects, including through expanding the Carbon Farming Initiative and drawing on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme;
·         the details of auction arrangements to deliver cost effective outcomes;
·         the governance arrangements that will support the Emissions Reduction Fund, including the role of key institutions such as the Clean Energy Regulator;
·         the details of the monitoring, verification, compliance and payments arrangements for successful bidders at auction;
·         transitional issues relating to the existing Carbon Farming Initiative; and
·         the design and operation of a mechanism applying to emissions above the business as usual baseline.

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