Tag: Carbon

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Oregon Lawmakers Consider Carbon Pricing Legislation
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K&L Gates Environmental Policy Quarterly Covers Clean Power Plan
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Amendments to the Australian Corporations Regulations: carbon abatement contracts not financial products
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Australian Government Announces First Emissions Reduction Fund Auction
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Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund Legislation Receives Royal Assent
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Emissions Reduction Fund passes Senate in Australia
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Phase I of CA 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study Completed: 50% GHG Reduction Feasible; Energy Storage to Play a Key Role

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Carbon Pricing Legislation

By Ankur K. Tohan, Alyssa A. Moir, Buck B. Endemann, Christina A. Elles

This is the second installment in the West Coast Carbon Policy Update — Three Part Series, which will examine carbon policies along the West Coast in Washington, Oregon, and California.

On March 28, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan, but lawmakers in Oregon are pushing ahead with statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Oregon lawmakers are currently considering several carbon pricing bills — including a cap-and-trade program, a carbon tax, a cap-and-fee program, and a GHG emission rule issued by the state’s environmental agency — that will add a pricing component to the state’s GHG goals.

To read the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.

 

K&L Gates Environmental Policy Quarterly Covers Clean Power Plan

The latest edition of the K&L Gates Environmental Policy Quarterly focuses on (1) EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards and Clean Power Plan, (2) congressional efforts to streamline environmental reviews of infrastructure projects, and (3) EPA’s draft Assessment on the Potential Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. We are delighted to include contributions by a number of K&L Gates lawyers who focus on these matters on a daily basis.

Read the Environmental Policy Quarterly

Amendments to the Australian Corporations Regulations: carbon abatement contracts not financial products

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) forms a key part of the Australian Federal Government’s Direct Action Plan to address climate change. Under the model, successful bidders in an ERF auction enter into “carbon abatement contracts” with the Clean Energy Regulator. These contracts require the bidder to provide carbon abatement to the Regulator according to an agreed schedule.

Previously, carbon abatement contracts may have been considered “derivatives” and “financial products” for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act) and Corporations Regulations 2001 (Cth) (Regulations). This characterisation would have subjected ERF participants to onerous regulatory burdens under the Act and Regulations (such as the requirement to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence).

To ensure that persons are not burdened by these regulatory obligations simply because they regularly enter into contracts with the Clean Energy Regulator, the Corporations Amendment (Emissions Reduction Fund Participants) Regulation 2015 (the Amendments) exempt carbon abatement contracts from the definitions of “derivative” and “financial product”.

The Amendments will commence the day after they are registered on the Australian Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

Australian Government Announces First Emissions Reduction Fund Auction

The Australian Government recently announced that the first Emissions Reduction Fund auction will occur in April 2015. The Emissions Reduction Fund provides proponents of carbon abatement projects with opportunities to enter into contracts with the Government, via the Clean Energy Regulator, under which the proponent receives payment for undertaking carbon abatement. In the reverse auction process project proponents will submit sealed bids for the Clean Energy Regulator to purchase (in the form of Australian carbon credit units) emissions reductions generated by their projects.

Successful auction bids will be those with the lowest price, and successful proponents will then enter into Australian Carbon Contracts with the Clean Energy Regulator. The first auction will be open from 9.00am (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 15 April 2015 and close at 5.00pm on 16 April 2015 (Australian Eastern Standard Time). The auction will occur through the online bidding platform Austender.
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Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund Legislation Receives Royal Assent

On 25 November 2014 the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Act 2014, which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), received Royal Assent and is now law. The ERF is the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Direct Action Plan climate change policy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It will provide $2.55 billion in financial incentives over four years 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.

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Emissions Reduction Fund passes Senate in Australia

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.

Phase I of CA 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study Completed: 50% GHG Reduction Feasible; Energy Storage to Play a Key Role

Last week, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) began releasing the results of Phase I of the California 2030 Low-Carbon Grid Study, which is designed to show how the electric sector can most cost-effectively support California’s ambitious GHG emissions goals.  The study is generally referred to as the “Low Carbon Grid Study” or “LCGS” by NREL and the approximately 30 companies, foundations and trade associations that participated in the study. Read More

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