Have Your Say on the New Emissions Reduction Fund
Just hours after releasing draft legislation to "axe the carbon tax", the Federal Government has launched a consultation to seek community input on the design of a proposed Emissions Reductions Fund (Fund) to form the centerpiece of the Coalition's 'Direct Action Plan' environment policy.
The Fund is being billed as an 'abatement buy back' mechanism that will provide incentives for carbon emission reduction projects across Australia. It will operate with an initial budget of AUD300 million in the first year, AUD500 million in the second year and AUD750 million over the following two years.
Submissions received on the Terms of Reference will provide input into the development of a Green Paper due to be released in December this year that will set out a 'first draft' of the Government's preferred Fund design. Another period of consultation will culminate in a White Paper scheduled for completion in early 2014 with the Fund due to commence on 1 July 2014. The Fund will almost certainly require legislation to bring it into existence and passing that legislation will raise the same hurdles as is discussed in our Legal Insight on the proposed termination of the carbon tax.
Interested parties have just over a month to formulate a submission on the following points:
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
the design and operation of a mechanism applying to emissions above the business as usual baseline.
The submission period closes at 5pm (AEDT) Monday 18 November 2013. Click here for more information.