On 31 October 2014, the Australian Senate passed the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund (Fund). The Fund is the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Direct Action Plan climate change policy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is comprised of $2.55 billion over four years to provide financial incentives for companies to voluntarily reduce emissions. The Government says its Direct Action Plan climate change policy will mean that Australia will meet the 5 percent emissions reduction target by 2020.
As last minute amendments were made to the Bill before being passed, the Bill will now return to the House of Representatives for approval before it is presented to the Governor-General for assent.
A White Paper on the Fund was released on 24 April 2014 with the intention of providing details and policy decisions regarding the Fund. Please refer to our earlier Legal Insight dated 19 May 2014.