Updates – ghg policy in australia


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Updates – ghg policy in australia

  1. 1. Updates – GHG Policy in AustraliaUpdates on progress to a Carbon cap and trade in AustraliaAustralia, one of the key countries has not been a part of the Kyoto Protocol for its own reasons.It has been trying to take a clear stance on its own ambitions and targets for carbon emissionreductions – but has not given any positive sign so far. However, with the recent election resultsthat Australia may again move towards putting a price on carbon. Such a price on carbon is toconsist of some form of emissions trading scheme, rather than a carbon tax. Any such move hasthe potential to clearly define and establish Australia’s climate change policy and strategy.In the recently concluded elections, Climate change was one of the few areas with significantdifference between the policy platforms taken to the electorate the two major parties - the LaborParty and the Coalition. Ultimately, the choice was between a promise to work towards pricingcarbon and a promise to combat climate change through direct government support foremissions reducing activities. The approaches suggested by the 2 parties can be summarized asunderParty Labor Party CoalitionPlatform Building a community consensus on Creation of emissions reduction carbon pricing to implement fund supporting projects for CO2 emission trading scheme in emissions reduction, jobs creations. 2012/2013.Features/Issues Cynicism due to failure of CPRS Primary focus on soil carbon and (Carbon Pollution Reduction agricultural practises change. Scheme) twice through the senate.Given the fractured mandate with no clear cut majority to any party it became clear from thecount that any party that ultimately formed government would have to work in the Senate with aGreens party holding the balance of power from 1 July 2011. As no party had the majority requiredto form government, many of the policy dichotomies between the major parties, includingclimate policy, were thrown up in the air as the decision on which party would form minoritygovernment came down to four independent members of Parliament and one Greens member.Among these members, there is a wide support of pricing carbon, firstly through an interimcarbon tax and subsequently through an emissions trading scheme. Even with a member who isa climate change sceptic, there is support legislating ethanol blending in transport fuels, thoughthis may be related to support for constituent cane growers than any climate change policy.On 1 September the Greens and Labor signed an agreement that they would support Labor toform minority government. The agreement commits the government to establishing a ‘wellresourced Climate Change Committee consisting of experts and representative ALP, Greens,independent and Coalition parliamentarians who are committed to tackling climate change andwho acknowledge that reducing carbon pollution by 2020 will require a carbon price’. The
  2. 2. Updates – GHG Policy in Australiasupport has come through a formal agreement. Though this agreement does not commit theparties to action on climate change, Greens are expected to support moves to price carbon aspart of their platform of policies that included that ‘[a] price must be put on carbon pollution,possibly as part of an enhanced Emissions Trading Scheme’. With all of the independentssupporting the minority Labor government supportive of pricing carbon in one form or another,it is likely that an emissions trading scheme will be passed in the next term. The process agreedbetween the Greens and Labor, the Climate Change Committee, will likely provide the pathwayforward in that regard. The earliest a scheme could be passed is July 2011 when the Greens takecontrol of the balance of power in the Senate.The design of an eventual emissions trading scheme is likely to be influenced heavily by the newpolitical landscape. Whereas the CPRS was negotiated between Labor and the Coalition, resultingin a scheme that gave significant exemptions for large emitters and powerful interest groups, thecurrent process is likely to result in a scheme that compromises with the new forces required topass the legislation; the Greens and the rural independents. This means that there will likely begreater emissions reduction ambition in the scheme overall, and agricultural emissions are likelyto be brought into the scheme over a longer period of time. Further, it is likely that in the shortterm more opportunities for carbon offsetting through changing agricultural practices is likely toform a part of the broader policy landscape. Such a process is also expected to see ruralcommunities having greater development in renewable energy and clean energy infrastructureas part of a $10 billion regional development deal.It is more likely now than at any time since the decision to delay the CPRS that Australia willultimately move to having a price on carbon. It is more likely that this will consist of some form ofemissions trading scheme, rather than a carbon tax, given that there is still significant policymomentum invested in the market based design which underpinned the CPRS, and that the keyindependent and Green members consider an emissions trading scheme as the best long-termoption for pricing carbon. The issue which is still uncertain is when such a price may be imposed,and whether the timing will remain 2012/2013 in accordance with the current Labor policy orwhether the Greens will manage to push something through Parliament after July 2011 when theyhave the balance of power in the Senate.
  3. 3. Updates – GHG Policy in AustraliaAbout UsAgneya Carbon Ventures came into existence with the purpose of “To help our clients inunderstanding, establishing sound Environment Management Systems, and pursuing sustainablebusiness solutions through our various services to abate direct and indirect impact on ecologicalbalance.”We have worked with companies across sectors enabling them to create carbon accounting,monitoring and reporting systems. We have expertise in the areas of carbon accounting andmanagement, energy management systems, voluntary/compliance carbon markets, environmentmanagement and sustainability and carbon branding.To know more about us, please visit http://www.agenya.inTo schedule a meeting or a discussion with us, do reach us onKedar - +91-9665407848 – kedar@agneya.inIndrajeet - +91-9028788430 – indrajeet@agneya.inReference1. http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c167140b-4279-40f9-966a-1251be1b10c3, an article by Norton Rose.