The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Emissions Reduction Fund draft legislation released
9 May 2014
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The Australian Government is a step closer to replacing the destructive carbon tax with an effective, practical and simple approach to reduce emissions, with the release today of draft legislation to implement the Emissions Reduction Fund.
The Emissions Reduction Fund is the centrepiece of the Coalition Government's Direct Action Plan to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. It builds on the Carbon Farming Initiative, with expanded coverage and streamlined processes to promote economy-wide participation.
The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Bill 2014 will expand the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 and, along with minor consequential amendments to other related Acts, will allow crediting of emissions reductions across the Australian economy.
The Bill will enable the Clean Energy Regulator to conduct competitive auctions, and to enter into contracts to purchase emissions reductions from successful bidders at lowest cost. It also includes arrangements to transition projects and methods from the Carbon Farming Initiative into the Emissions Reduction Fund.
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) will provide real incentives for emissions reduction opportunities, through a market mechanism to achieve abatement at the lowest cost.
The carbon tax was a $7.6 billion hit on the Australia economy in its first year of operation, yet there was no meaningful reduction in emissions. The carbon tax truly is a policy failure.
Every day the carbon tax remains in place means higher power bills for families, more jobs at risk and more damage to Australia's international competitiveness.
Australians voted for the removal of the carbon tax and for the implementation of a climate change policy that actually reduces emissions. Through the ERF, we will achieve our emissions reduction target without a tax on families and small business.
The release of the draft legislation follows an extensive consultation period, including the release of the Green and White Papers on the Emissions Reduction Fund. The Government is continuing to consult closely with business and the community and is now calling for public submissions on the draft legislation. Further information is available at www.environment.gov.au/emissions-reduction-fund.
The Government expects to introduce the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Bill 2014 into the Parliament in the Winter Sittings.