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Minister announces 4 new draft methods for government’s $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund plus new board member elected

Posted 14 November 2014 - 5:00pm

Sydney: Today the Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced four additional draft Emissions Reduction Fund methods that will provide increased capacity to partake in the $2.5 billion fund, passed through the Senate earlier this month. He made the announcement during his keynote speech on the second day of the CRCLCL Participants Annual Forum.

The four draft methods, which are up for public consultation, embrace household energy efficiency, industrial energy efficiency, soil carbon and improving the efficiency of fertilizer use in irrigated cotton. All embrace a variety of ways to reduce carbon emissions in these areas. 

At the event Minister Hunt said the Emissions Reduction Fund supports a model which incorporates two key incentive mechanisms – crediting and purchasing plus safeguards.  

“The crediting and purchasing mechanism is the opportunity for reducing emissions through an incentive based acquisition system and is a direct market method for purchasing emissions reductions through a variety of actions,” he said. 

The incentive mechanism will offer industry an opportunity to pitch for rewards in the form of government contracts, should emissions projected be achieved after a seven year period.  This will be an auction bidding system where the lowest cost emission reduction is key. 

“You [successful bidders] are given the certainty of a government contract and regular payments.  In turn, we have the certainty of reductions as payments are made on delivery and this is a very exciting proposition.  It is more secure than legislation as it is contracted and therefore can survive changes in government,” he said. 

The safeguard is that while offering incentives for those that come under target those that do not meet targets are provided with disincentives. 

CRCLCL Chairman, The Hon. Robert Hill (AO) said the overall approach offered both opportunities and challenges.

“The incentives around the Energy Emissions Reduction Fund are positive in that emissions reductions will no doubt be a result.  For the CRC for Low Carbon Living it also offers a unique opportunity to bring the research, technology and industry it works with to work collectively to bid in this arena,” he said. 

“The challenges are to engage all of industry to play a role in the new system.  However this in turn offers the CRCLCL another opportunity to use its Engaged Communities program to work harder on educating industry as well as the general population about the importance of low carbon living and making the changes necessary to create a cleaner, safer and more productive built environment.” 

At the CRCLCL AGM last night, held at the close of the Participants Forum’s first day, the new government representative board member was formerly announced.  Megan Antcliff – former scientist turned architect – is Director, Strategic Projects and Innovation for the Department of State Development, South Australia.  Her key role is to create innovative partnerships that are outcome-focused whilst building high level industry support. 

“What excites me about being a member of the CRCLCL board is that I can play a role in the research project decision making process. I am particularly passionate about applying research to real life and more specifically how we can use it in city and precinct living,” said Ms Antcliff. 

“Ultimately research and its outcomes should play a key role in the development of precincts and cities that meet the triple bottom line – social, environmental and financial.” 

This is the second of the CRCLCL’s participant’s forum which marks two years of operation. 

“The CRC for Low Carbon Living has made significant progress since it was established in 2012 and is focused on the clear goal of taking research and technology using it practically in the community and industry to bring about emission reductions throughout the built environment.  With a total of 51 diverse projects and 54 associated higher degree student places spanning 44 active partners there has been much research conducted with results on the horizon,” he said. 

To read the annual report highlights click here.

To read the Minister's keynote click here.